Rock, paper, scissors is a game that was invented sometime past my childhood. Because of this, I don’t really understand the hierarchy of what wins when. This imagery led to the title of this post as I was thinking about being flexible in both thought and action through the different stages of our life.
As children, our lives are like cloth with water being knowledge. Cloth can absorb absorb water multiple times. Yet cloth is not rigid enough to stand at all. For a child’s identity and skills take time to develop. Dependent on their experiences through the first 20 years of their life. Never able to be on their own at a young age.
Plastic reminds me of the years as a young adult. Flexible yet rigid. Taking many forms depending on the mold it was cast from. Having the ability to hold water & knowledge if formed properly and guided appropriately. Directing water where needed. Accumulating it for later challenges. Yet plastic has a dual nature validated by its ability to be either flexible or hardened. While able to accumulate and direct water it can also repel it without breaking. As young adults, who sometimes don’t listen & insist they are right. A mistake all of us have made through the years.
Glass, while transparent allowing us to see more clearly, makes water bead on it without ever penetrating. Brittle when dropped it loses its well ordered structure that gave it its identity. As we age we become more like glass. Thinking that we see more clearly and understand things better. Only to find when things do not fit our hardened views of the world, we simply shatter like glass because we no longer fit in. The beads of water on a glass simply evaporate. Never permeating its surface. Leaving us hardened, brittle and more alone as we travel through our golden years.
As we age, we need to be more like a cloth that reveals underneath it the plastic that we continually form in new ways to adapt to our changing surroundings. Making the discovery of new knowledge the catalyst for eternal youth. For flexibility and adaptability is the key to staying young as new challenges continue to arise.