I had a psych and law professor at UCSD who asked us if a 16 year old should be charged as an adult if they committed murder. The vast majority of us said yes. Murder is murder and 16 is close enough to 18.
But is it?
He asked us to think of ourselves at 16. Then he asked us to think of ourselves at 18. If you break it down like that, it is quite a difference.
I was a totally different person at 16 in comparison to 18. I had a different thought process, 2 more years of life under my belt and a hell of a lot more freedom to learn with my mistakes. Let me just say, I learned a lot between 16 and 18 years old.
The thing is, you can see the difference between a 4 year old and 6 year old quite easily. There are motor skills, language and logistical skills that show the age difference. It doesn’t work that way with adults, yet I wonder if the difference is still there.
The thing about adults is that the choices they make in life have a direct effect on their perspectives, style of life and attitude. You can have an annoyingly sheltered 40 year old and an incredibly mature 19 year old who has lived more than his/her years. At the same time, considering brain growth, the 40 yr old still technically has a stronger logical center than the 19 year old. It is just biology people.
Take Mr Rant, he is not the 27 year old I met. That is quite obvious seeing that he is now 36 years old, is running a company, supporting a family and has 2 small children. Big jump from the penniless aspiring photographer I met in Barcelona.
He has the same foundation but a different perspective, style of life and attitude. Do I miss the 27 year old Mr Rant? Yeah, I have my moments. I’m not going to lie to you.
The 27 year old Mr Rant had no worries. He was also a very charming ladies man (still there though less active because you turn that off with whole marriage thing). He was always down for an adventure, was never annoyed and didn’t worry one moment about money. We argued all the freaking time but we compensated with doubling up the make up sex. We were passionate. Every single moment had some kind of breath of life to it. In retrospect, I miss it.
At the same time, that would be exhausting at this point in life. I don’t know if I would actually like the 27 year old Mr Rant if he came back to me right now. If Marty McFly switched him out and I had that 27 year old as the Father to our two children… I don’t know how well that would go down. Life changes you in certain ways for a reason, right?
27 year old Mr Rant would expect me to get a babysitter and go to whatever party at midnight and get home an hour before the kids were waking up. Of course he’d be 27 so we would use that last hour to have sex and then get interrupted midway through by kids wanting pancakes for breakfast.
Doesn’t sound so bad does it?
Of course you’d have to ask, who is going to make the pancakes? Chatterbox is pretty skilled at mixing but I still think he’d catch the apartment on fire if I let him near the stove alone.
The thing is, you can always look back and miss it. What you can’t do is look forward. The 27 year old Mr Rant would not understand any of the things the 36 year old Mr Rant learned. With adulthood comes growth. You go through shit and learn to make new mistakes. I don’t think I would want to teach and/or experience the same ones again. Maybe every once in a while at a damn good party, but as a lifestyle? I have been there.
It makes me wonder, is there as big of a difference between ages, even in adulthood? Say there is a 29 year old and 37 year old? As much as they are both adults, they would have been 1 and 9 or 3 and 11. There is a gap in the area of development, in the life experience. While one can make the other more mature or more free, depending on who you are talking about, will they ever meet in the middle?
So, is there really something to numbers or are they just that. What do you think?