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Don't Call it "Adult," Call it "Childish"
The kindergarten class was just simmering down after recess. Several little boys were hysterically giggling in a corner while the teacher attempted to get the class back to their seats. As she approached the gaggle of rowdies, she overheard snippets of conversation. A dark frown crossed her face.
"Children!" she exclaimed, "That's potty-language. Potty-language is not acceptable in our classroom!"
But who could blame those kids? They were only doing what comes naturally. To five-year olds, parts of the body are fascinating. For the past two years they have proudly done their business in the potty, often without even missing. Rarely do they have accidents any more. Still, for the next three or four years, as the amazing capacities of their bodies reveal themselves, that will be a powerful source of enthrallment.
And well it should be. We've got incredible machinery. It grows, rejuvenates itself every night, heals, learns, connects, and creates. The human body is wonderful. It ought to be a source of allure. Indeed, it remains captivating to hundreds of thousands of scientists who make their living studying every limb, bone, artery, neuron and synapse in an attempt to learn, help and heal our bodies.
So why is it -- please tell me -- that there are millions of people who got fixated at age 5 and never got interested in the rest of the machinery? At the age of five, fixation on sexual organs is not a problem; it's normal. At the age of forty-five, it's a big problem.
I'll ask an even better question. Nearly every one of those hundreds of thousands of scientists appreciates the rest of what it takes to be human. Many of them are married, have kids. These people also respect and admire the capacities of the human mind, the heart, and the soul. And so do the rest of us who were fortunate enough to have grown up. There is more to the human than the body, as riveting as that is, and people who outlived childhood -- real adults -- know it. So where is the awareness of the totality of what it means to be human in people forever living in the world of the five-year old?
The answer, my friends, is very sad. These are not happy campers, the people addicted to body-parts, exclusive of the rest of the body and soul. They know there is something missing in them, that they never grew up, never became adults.
The only problem is that it takes a fully-functioning adult -- an adult with a well-developed mind, a full heart, and a spiritual connection to that which is larger than himself -- to know how to get unstuck from bad places. In act, it takes a real adult to realize that he is stuck somewhere back thirty-five years ago. What a Catch-22. He's stuck in a bad place and because he is there, he doesn't even know he is stuck back there, let alone how to get unstuck.
What does someone like that do?
Well, isn't it obvious? Remember, he's thinking like a five-year old! What he does is rename his childish absorption with something he should have put in its proper place long ago, along with all the rest of what it means to be human. Instead of admitting it's "childish," he calls it "adult."
These children masquerading as adults need help, big time. With the expert help of someone who understands how they got stuck -- and how to grow up -- they can truly become fully-functioning adults, with a big heart, a vibrant soul, and an appreciation of the totality of what it means to be human.
That expert has to understand abuse, neglect, and deprivation of children and how such maltreatment leads to stunted adults. Most important, that expert has to be patient and nonjudgmental while gently challenging in knowing exactly how to move such a person out of his stuck place.