Responsibility vs. Limitation

I remember, as a young child, hearing a grown up say that they wish they could be a kid again.  I couldn’t figure out why.  You can’t DO anything as a kid.  You (or at least, I) can’t choose what TV shows to watch, what or when to eat, when you go to bed, when to get up… adults, it seemed, could do anything they wanted, but kids had to do what adults tell them to.

Fast forward 20 years, and I understand what that grown up was talking about.  Yes, adults can stay up as late as they want, and eat ice cream three meals a day, but it comes as a price my childhood self didn’t understand.  Being an adult means responsibility, paying bills, cleaning house, and having to take care of yourself.

Looking back on my life, it seems that responsibility and limitation are at the opposite ends of a sliding scale.  At one end, you have everybody doing everything for you, like an infant or an invalid, but with no freedom even of motion or possibly cognizant thought.  At the other end, you have a fully functioning individual, who is looking out for themselves and quite often other people.  As the scale moves from one end to the other, and possibly back, there is payment from one end to the other.

Despite what advertising executives and credit card companies want you to believe, there is no freedom without responsibility.  There is no such thing as a care-free life.  And, as much as I would like someone else to take care of me at times, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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