On My Soapbox

We’re covering developmental psychology in class…you know, from womb to tomb.  When introducing the unit, I pose the following questions to the class:  What is the best age?  When is life at its best?  When does one live the “time of their life”?  A few students choose years during toddlerhood due to the fact that there’s very few responsibilities and all you do is play.  A few students will choose in the seventies because you’re retired and just taking it easy.  It never fails, though, that a vast majority of my tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade students choose an age in the mid to late twenties.  They see this as a time of having completed school, having a career, living on your own, and doing whatever they want.  While I see their points, I do caution them to the added responsibilities of a career and possibly beginning a family.  

It is at this point that I jump on my soapbox.  I don’t do it often, but I do believe there is some value in adding a little wisdom to my class.  My students joke that I morph from Coach Harvard to Dad Harvard.  And because I don’t do it often, it usually has a bit of an impact with my students.  How much impact?  I think I even saw a few kids look up from their phone yesterday when I gave my spiel.  🙂

On the Soapbox:

While it is an interesting exercise to consider the pros and cons of different ages and stages of life, I challenge you to live every stage like it is the best of your life.  If the current stage of life you’re in isn’t great or if you’re constantly looking forward to this or that, you’re doing it wrong.  Don’t wish your life away to either some future time or spend time reminiscing about the “good old days”.  How sad would it be if the best years of your life were either your high school or college years?  While that is a great time of life with memories I will cherish forever, it can’t be the best of my life.  So after about the age of 22, I’m supposed to live 60 more years always looking back at “the times of my life”?  No.  I won’t do it.  I’m currently 33.  I have an amazing wife and three ridiculously great children; aged 5 years, 3 years, and 10 months.  Life is hectic and messy, but you know what…It’s great.  Again, if I didn’t think so, I’d be doing it wrong.  This stage of my life is way better than college.  Yes, there’s more responsibility and less “me” time, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Now, whether you choose to become a doctor, a mechanic, or a teacher; just be happy.  Live your life in a way that positively contributes to your family and your community; making each stage of your life the best of your life.  I believe, if you do this, you’ll look back on your life with a smile and a sense of accomplishment.

I’ll get off my soapbox.  You can go back to your phone now.

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