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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Philosophy on Facebook # 31 - Transition Times

Hey guys sorry I haven’t really had time to write a note recently but these last couple days have been busy and I am about to leave for Spring Break so I don’t know if I will have anymore interaction with the blog and podcasts but I’ll do my best. To keep you busy in the mean time I’ve uploaded 3 more podcasts, one being the extra special episode I promised you guys so check them out on iTunes, YouTube, facebook, wherever.

Ok so the inspiration for this note came from making plans for my spring break vacation where I will be visiting colleges for me to potentially attend. This made me ponder the different transition periods in life and inspired me to write my elaborations about it. This is pretty biased so don't be offended if I have a different view than you. For some of you who read this you probably are still in high school, possibly in college, and maybe even some people who have graduated from school all together. Whatever period you are within your life you can agree that as time changes so do you and going from one place to another is what we call a transition. It's basically starting in one place and ending up in another. Every day we experience these changes and their magnitude varies and how smoothly their transition occurs also varies from case to case. Changes occur to us on a daily basis and how big of an impact on our lives they have or how easily it is moving from one to another play a big factor in their transition. One of the most obvious transition is moving. Every movement you take is a change on you from the where you were previously. For many of us the major change that is occurring now is transitioning from a kid to an adult by going to college. This is what I call the teenage transition and it can be very difficult depending upon your situation and your outlook. During this time a teenager faces one of their greatest enemies, time. There are some exceptions to this but I believe that for the most part people don't want to become complete adults. They might miss their parents nurturing, be scared to take care of themselves, or for a multitude of other reasons not want to make the transition. Others may be completely happy to continue and transition through their lives unphased by living a new life that they haven't experienced before. I believe that it is a combination of your outlook like if you are naturally excited to complete new activities or if you enjoy stability and get afraid whenever times change to an uncertain future. A couple months ago when the 25 truths was a big thing almost everyone said that they were afraid of what college was going to bring.

Teenage years are a major transition period spanning multiple years where you prepare for being thrown out into the working world of adults. This time period is really a time of self discovery as many transitions are. You figure out what you like and dislike and start funneling down potential paths to lead out your life in your adult years. I believe deep down everyone enjoys at some point or another being nurtured and cared for. Kids don't want to leave their parents most of the time because of their attachment and the relationships they have fostered during their childhoods and they still want to be a kid. When you become an adult, the nurturing isn't as recognizable as it is with a kid and their parents. Sure you can get praise from a job with promotions or with a loved one but I believe that it isn't the same as when you are younger. You are less dependent as an adult thus requiring less nurturing. Some people might say they are completely content without being nurtured possibly because they don't like being treated like a baby or just want to be independent. On the other end of the spectrum, babies don't have the cognitive ability to realize that they want to be older. Herein lies the balance of the teenage transitions. Most kids want to be nurtured by their parents like have them do their laundry or make food for them but don't want the treatment that comes with being a kid. When you a young you are treated in a way that is almost condescending because you are viewed as not being able to do as much as an adult so parents are there to hold your hand and guide you like training wheels. While it might be fun to not have to do anything, eventually you will get tired of being told what to do and helped with everything that you do that you'll want more adult like responsibilities. During the teenage years we gain a lot more responsibility like credit cards, a car, a job and a multitude of other things that adults also have. We are becoming adults during the teenage years and how you handle it is up to your outlook and perspective.

While the teenage years are a major transition, it isn't the only transition in life. Because life is ever changing there will always be more and more transitions. The hope is that through these future transitions, life will only continue to improve because we will keep progressing from where we were before. A good example of this is with technology. As time advances, so does our technological abilities. It is amazing to think 20 years ago we didn’t have the internet, cell phones, and plenty of other things we hold near and dear to our hearts. I sometimes think wow I couldn’t live back then based upon my biased perspective. I also look at the future and am kind of bummed that I won't be able to experience the great tech that the future will bring. Things that are only real in science fiction will most likely come true years down the road and unfortunately it might be after our time. For this reason, one of the major problems of transitions is becoming obsolete if you don't keep up with the times. Because our grandparents probably didn’t transition with the digital era they are now behind when it comes to the internet and computers but the thing of it is that they might be content with it because they never grew up with computers or they just don't care anymore. The way life is now, I believe that most of us are mystified with what the future brings and want to be a part of it in order to prevent becoming obsolete. Maybe when we get older we won't care that people can teleport or work virtual realities because we haven't grown up with it and will be too old to adapt to it. The curiosity that youth brings allows for younger people to quickly adapt through these transitions. It is basically the "can't teach an old dog new tricks" saying because they are so rooted in the past that it will be too difficult to transition to something new. Kids are more open because they haven't experienced much which is one of the reasons why it is easier for kids to do things like learn a new language than it is for adults. As we grow older it will be harder to transition with the time and almost inevitable that we will be behind the times. The best way to prevent this is with practice. You must keep yourself up to date with the latest stuff whether it be the latest gadget or technique. Sometimes though something comes along like computers that entirely shifts the playing field and things like our way of life that it will be almost impossible to adapt. The ever-present transition that nobody is immune to is aging and the body. As we get older our bodies transition through phases. The way people help their bodies transition effectively or prevent it is through working out and practicing keeping their bodies in shape and at peak performance. By going to the gym or playing sports it is actually one way for the body to resist the transition of aging.

Transitions not only change the way we live but also our values and morals. This note is closely related to the podcast I just recorded about perspectives. These transitions leave you with new experiences that therefore impact your views on life because they provide you with never before seen events that then shape your perspective. During these times you are usually put into predicaments that allow you to move on with your life and that’s why these transitions are important. If you didn’t have them you couldn’t improve upon your life because you wouldn’t be experiencing new things to help you grow your collective being. A good metaphor to look at it is like a ladder and moving down or hopefully up from one spot to the next. It is inevitable that you will go both down and up because life is a rollercoaster that has its share of highs and lows. There are also known transitions to help it be easier and basically set paths you can take down life. These would be things like school and careers and getting an education that have been done before in order to provide a guideline for how you transition your own life. It isn't good enough just to follow someone else's path though as the world will only improve if new things are getting done. To do so you want to transition into your own life and spur innovations through these transitions. Remember, it's not just you that is transitioning but the whole world and by you progressing you are helping the world to do it too.

-Allan Nicholas

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