Don’t be Adultish!

Written by Lydia | April 23, 2015

Here’s to the virtues of being child-like (versus child-ish). Ashley Montagu articulated it so well in a Psychology Today interview which appeared way back in August 1977, entitled: “Don’t be Adultish!” [My friends at the time will remember me raving about it?] Montagu lamented the hardening of the minds of adults as they take on not only the responsibilities of adulthood, but also as they succumbed to associated programming. He likened the effects of an over-emphasis on being serious to ‘psycho sclerosis’ (not unlike artherosclerosis). While maturity is to be encouraged and reinforced, there is still plenty of room for the child within to come out and play. He was not promoting being child-ish (wilfull and immature); but being child-like (playful and engaging).There are so many implications and flow-on effects I could point to, not least of which is the importance of child-like wonder and curiosity to our wellbeing and longevity, to creativity and innovation, and to just plain fun and pleasure! Can we allow ourselves more of the spontaneous joy and open-mindedness to our lives that children find so natural?  Applying this spirit of playfulness and amusement to even our most serious tasks can go a long way towards energizing us as well as promoting productivity and wellbeing.