A couple of weeks back one of my students said this:
Life is hard!
He didn’t say it to me directly or to his teammates, but he just said it as a general statement. He said it with much fervor and disappointment just as a young kid like him would say.
I looked at him first. Then gave him a half-smile and half-are-you-kidding-me look.
How old are you again?! I asked.
Before he said anything else, he knew exactly what I meant. So he smiled and sheepishly said:
Everyone laughed. Me, him, and the entire team.
I pressed on.
Sixteen? Talk to me again 10 years from now.
We were all still laughing then but I also gave a sense of seriousness that he should take a second look at what he just said.
On one hand, I think he understood that his statement was a bit too foolish. But then again, he was still trying to defend himself that life is hard, even for a sixteen year old.
I wrote before that you shouldn’t compare your problems with other people no matter how grave or how insignificant your problem is. Each of has to go through a certain thing specifically designed for us to go through. I thought of this when my student said that life being a sixteen year old is tough. If you really think about it, life at any age can be tough.
When you were young, didn’t you also have the tendency to blow up everything out of proportion? A young person has the tendency to focus on one singular problem as oppose to when you’re an adult you get to face multiple problems all at one. Either way, in your youth or as an adult, a problem is still a problem.
We shouldn’t compare but we also have to understand the big picture. Whether you’re sixteen or twenty six or thirty eight or even older, we have to acknowledge that there are always bigger problems but also bigger solutions. I’m sure my concerns right now will look less stressful 10 years from now, who knows? Life doesn’t choose an age to be difficult, he choose randomly and at any given time. And besides, the thing about being an adult is that you realize that it’s already started when it’s too late.
After our training, one member had pizza delivered since it was his birthday. While we are all chomping down on pizza, the same student who said earlier that life was hard, excitedly said:
Life is awesome!
Well on that particular moment, at least for now, we could all agree with that.