It is so incredibly passive aggressive for you to assume that I’m too young, self-absorbed, unknowledgeable and stubborn to know what’s good for me. Furthermore, those three last personality traits all apparently seem to stem from the first.
Oh, do accept my humble apologies. I had absolutely no idea that I am now a lesser human being than you, with a character and morals quite obviously inferior to yours, and an intellectual capacity that leaves much to be desired. From ten extra years that you’ve happened to exist longer than I have, you are now the pinnacle of humanity, while I remain a simple amoeba.
Give me an adult who can operate efficiently, and I’ll show you one who can’t file tax returns, or tie his shoes. Give me a ten-year-old who liberally slaps other children on the playground, and I’ll show you the thousands of seven-year-olds splattered in the dust and the blood of their family members in undeveloped countries who function with a maturity that far exceeds yours, and mine.
These seconds you’ve lived don’t add up in a way that can be used against me, as proof of your own advancement. Rather, it’s the way your environment has shifted and moved, influenced you during these seconds and how you reacted to these changes that determines your capability. You are not superior because you are older. You are not better than me, and by supposing that your age now immediately commands duty and respect, you have shown me otherwise.
A mortgage, marriage, child-rearing – all these things do not make you better than those who have not experienced them. If you made moral (or immoral – whatever floats your boat, as they say) decisions and took these situations in a way that signalled some kind of maturity, you are, without a doubt, wiser that me. But you might not more intelligent, or better, or more mature. In any case, you do not have the luxury of assuming you simply are.
So you can take that smug grin off your face, you can stop addressing me as “little” in a way that is anything but affectionate, you can stop acting like I have no opinions of my own and you can quit asking me when “mommy is coming to pick me up”. You might have been breathing air for longer than I have, but that is hardly anything to be proud of.