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What would that Kid of 7 think of him or her self now, at 76?

Updated on September 21, 2017

If only!


TODAY is the TOMORROW that you were afraid of YESTERDAY!

And YOU HAVE SURVIVED! You are still here.

When I was a boy.....

Anyone more than one year older than me was awesome. Boys who were taller; boys who wore long trousers; boys who walked with an air of authority - they were someone to look up to.


What was I aiming for?

There was never any question for me as to why I had to learn any particular subject at school. We just did it, without question. On looking back now, it's easy to see the objects of the teachers and parents. It was trying to prepare us for adulthood. At least that was the intention, although in retrospect some things did not serve all of us so well.


There were no older teenagers that I knew of. There were none to mix with either within or outside of my family, because in those years there was National Service. Those "old boys" had to go away and become "young men." The only "men" in my life were my Dad, my Uncles, my Teachers and the various shopkeepers where I bought my penny-worth of sweets.



The Goal Ahead

So the only role model of a Man for me, really, was my Dad - working hard, mostly 7 days a week in the market garden; getting his hands dirty; harvesting cabbages and lettuce in the early hours of the morning, for market that day. Weeks before the harvest time, he was out in the same field, bent over double, pulling stinging nettles out from around the cabbages, with bare hands.

He drove a tractor. (He had learned to plough with horses, back in the 1930s). He was a jack of all trades. Plumbing, motor mechanics, electrics, digging, hoeing, carpentry, etc., etc. I learned to use a screwdriver and saw because I had watched him do it.


This was the man I had respect for, really, although such a sentiment was not recognised by myself at such an early age. It's easy to look back and realise now, of course.

Looking Back

So what is the biggest thing I learned?

It's this: The way ahead is the road I take, not the road behind. There is no turning back of the clock. The successes, the mistakes, are all in the past. The moment of truth is here and now. What is dreamed of for the future will not happen until it is Now.


And the Final Big All-Powerful Question:

Would the Little Boy I was then, be proud of the Man that I am Now?

The Boy!

So innocent.... maybe!
So innocent.... maybe!

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    • jonnycomelately profile imageAUTHOR

      Alan 

      10 months ago from Tasmania

      Thank you Glen. Profound indeed.

      Getting older and watching as my peers of those early years have one-by-one dropped off the perch, life takes on new and interesting dimentions.

      One of those dimentions concerns just "letting things be." I don't mean ceasing to care, about people and their needs. More a case of reconsidering my needs in relation to their's and realising, "oh, what the heck? I can cope regardless. Let them have it their way."

      So, how important are the younger folk, still with their awesome fighting spirit? Indispensable! I would say.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 

      10 months ago from Long Island, NY

      I found your article very inspiring Alan. Many times in my life I look back on my young self and think about the choices I’ve made, and considering if I’m proud of that boy I once was.

      However, your vision of looking forward and asking if I’d be proud of that man I will someday be, at 76, is much more important. The concept actually gives us a chance to “wake up” and make changes to where we're headed.

    • jonnycomelately profile imageAUTHOR

      Alan 

      2 years ago from Tasmania

      Deep thoughts, thank you for sharing them Val. I hope others will find them inspiring and revealing in them selves too.

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Hello Allan, old buddy,

      If I happen to sound "strange" it won't be the first time to me, but here is my response to your deep thoughts. I can't relate to that 7 years old-me. Our intimate realities are so different that my memory is only picking up some selective and fragmented details of what he used to experience as his life. I know that those memories are not doing justice to his childish totality, and I prefer leaving him back there.

      We are not the same. Every atom of my body has changed several times over since then. It would be extremely hypothetical to me to imagine if "he would be proud of this 71 year young-me."

      Well, I have evolved, changed, refined myself, through discipline, experience, and study, our worlds are not co-measurable, and there is only this illusion of the same name, same parents and a brother that we share.

      If I can share some of his memories, while he was not in a position, or even being mentally equipped to share mine - then how can we be the "same" person? It's like the illusion of observing the same river, while knowing the truth that it's not the same - the name is the same, and its static shape is on a map, but its water is changing all the time.

      To round up this strange story, my dear friend, let me say that my grown up kids may want to have some of my qualities, and in my eulogy some day there will be the word "proud" - but my kids are also distinct human beings, with their unique intimate world that can't be verbalized and so compared to mine. So, who really knows...

      The beauty of everything is in LOVE - for my old self, for my young memories, for my kids, and even for you, Allan, whom I have a pleasure to know in as many, or as few pleasant fragments as you are revealing to me. - Val

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      2 years ago

      Good question. My 7 year old self would be greatly disappointed.

    • jonnycomelately profile imageAUTHOR

      Alan 

      2 years ago from Tasmania

      Thanks for dropping by, Geri. Wishing you well on that exciting journey of discovery.

    • gerimcclym profile image

      Geri McClymont 

      2 years ago

      This is a deep question and one I suspect I will be reflecting on beyond just today... Thank you for this important and thought provoking question.

    • jonnycomelately profile imageAUTHOR

      Alan 

      2 years ago from Tasmania

      My! You have traveled, Mary! Thanks for looking in!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You made me wonder. As age sets in, it is a question to ponder.

    • jonnycomelately profile imageAUTHOR

      Alan 

      3 years ago from Tasmania

      Thank you Catherine.... this hub has a life of its own. Looking back at the responses from a couple of years ago, I hope and trust they are each having a really enlightening life of their own.

      I have one photograph, of when I was probably about 10 years old. Looks like an angel and I don't know when the halo slipped a bit.... wink, wink.... and maybe he fell from grace somewhat..... but the greatest value it has for me now is thinking back to the other men who used to serve in the church. Of course, they were grown up, to be looked-up to, and they showed me the ropes, guided what had to be done in the church, when and where to genuflect, etc.

      Yet now, I look back at those men.... as my peers now. We as grown-ups can look back on all those grown-ups of our lives, on a level playing field. We all "know" life. Whether I laugh at them, admire them, learn from them..... there automatically comes a sense of respect regardless. Maybe it's a sort of self respect I thus have.

      I will insert the photograph into my hub for you to see.

      Thanks for coming in here to comment Catherine.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      3 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Would our 7 year old self be proud of our 70 year old self? An interesting question to ponder. If you have a picture of yourself as a young boy, it would be a great addition to this hub.

    • profile image

      Ausseye 

      3 years ago

      A beautiful raw description of youth, so elegantly sober pure human empathy.....loved the moments when reading this. My heart is captured and amazed by ethical reality. So, so good!

    • jonnycomelately profile imageAUTHOR

      Alan 

      4 years ago from Tasmania

      Thank you. Best wishes to you. Nameste.

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      4 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Very great and interesting article. It is a question everybody must be coming across at some point of life. When we look back upon that childhood, our childishness, innocence, imitation, admiration, fears, dreams, etc. we will now be feeling much disturbed sometimes to have lost all those moments and would think if we could get back to those moments and rectify our follies and mistakes.

      Thank you for posting such a great hub.

    • jonnycomelately profile imageAUTHOR

      Alan 

      4 years ago from Tasmania

      This Hub is merely a "sharing" of my background experience, hoping it will help others to trigger inner realisation and understanding.

      I am not intending that it should be a discourse or argument. Each of us to our own reality.

      I include your two posts here, Puella, but they are somewhat obscure to me.

    • profile image

      puella 

      4 years ago

      Oh! thanks to you indeed!

      Indicative Mode is the 'usual' mode of conjugating life for a kiddo, and also, usually, by verbs terribly irregular but by a wonderful heart of purity that makes laughable the complications; maturing introduces the intricacies of subjunctive mode, complications plagued by doubts and if's and the unbearable concept of 'probability' and so, life begins to resemble a real-time 'novel' which indeed it is, just like your memories now and your questionings of what was and what is thru a line broken or not of events, which all together is called...life

    • jonnycomelately profile imageAUTHOR

      Alan 

      4 years ago from Tasmania

      Welcome Puella. And thank you.

    • profile image

      puella 

      4 years ago

      @JCL "Would the Little Boy I was then, be proud of the Man that I am Now?"

      in a bird's flight, I'd say that your question can only be 'approximately estimated' for readers/listeners but only, really, answered by yourself...have you reached an answer to yourself?

      What means to be proud of oneself?

    • jonnycomelately profile imageAUTHOR

      Alan 

      5 years ago from Tasmania

      @Pearldiver, thanks for those kind and understanding words. and @Michael-Milec, thank you for visiting, too. We have that understanding of the "Now," and can think a little deeper than the TV adverts, the Political hog-wash that tries to present itself as intelligent.

      I suggest the best way we adults can teach those children, whom we hope will survive to experience the "old," is to give them the gift of enquiry. Not taking the TV advert as "gospel." Asking questions of the manufacturer, the retailer, others who know a product better. Having the courage to confront politicians with the difficult questions. Demanding better from those who have access to privileged.

      But above all, trying hard to present that "child of 7" with a good example; in other words, the father, mother, grandfather, grandmother - we! I -- must apply discipline to myself first of all. Not an easy task sometimes.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 

      5 years ago

      Hello jonnycomelately.

      Encouraging.

      Seems those who reached maturity of this - second half granted -age, have sense of seeing through experience their very foundation for life's accomplishments thus far. You're so right, stating that all we are living is " now " , reminding greater audience about true foundation of personality starts by imitation parents, without their telling us what to do. We're learning that difficult role of being parents at very early age ,

      Being reminded by either memories or our own children when we turn out to be what we are and perhaps why so. My sons helped me know this by answering some question to their actions how come they became men of integrity and respect. . . They wanted to be like their dad. It goes back as far to my father and grandfather. ( we had privilege to " watch " some of " best programs transmuting." [?] )

      Very interesting and UP.

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 

      5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      Hope you missed the forest fires by at least a paddock mate! We each have the burden of your question, but it is not so difficult to answer if one first answers on the proviso that one must not allow negative influences like self sabotage etc. to effect the brutal honesty of the facts!

      You are quite right, there is no benefit, if one must depend upon anything less... Factually, what you stated here that was the greatest thing you learned, shows that your answer must be - Yes! Wisdom creeps up through the raft of life experiences and is only made irrelevant by the gate crashing effect of 'hindsight' - that thing that acts as a welcome platform for any and all excuses we may consider worthy enough to use as reason why we find our 'now' is not worthy of our happiness and vice versa.

      You have many reasons to support your yes.. perhaps it is time to count them and measure them by how whole they collectively make you feel.. Bon Chance jonny... immortality is yours to do with as you please, in the time that you have, to create and enjoy it.... enjoy your path! PD

    • jonnycomelately profile imageAUTHOR

      Alan 

      5 years ago from Tasmania

      RBJ, yes, the question itself can be a very scary one when you first encounter it.

      It's deep, too. Because it's 100% personal, only "I" am involved, and only "I" can answer it. No one else is capable of answering it. It's really none of their business. The question is equally appropriate for the woman and her "Little Girl," too.

      It brings in absolute honesty to the point where lying to yourself is totally pointless.

      It can also point to the road forward with a lot of useful stuff coming to the surface.

    • RBJ33 profile image

      RBJ33 

      5 years ago

      Holy cow jonny you gave me a headache - not because your hub was bad, but because it is deep - what a question. I don't have a son just daughters so I am not eligible to ponder a son's thoughts about me.

      I will share one moment of surprise and terror for me concerning my father. He was a big tough Irish policeman, a Police Captain. He died in 1985 at age 75. My moment of surprise and terror came when I was looking down at his lifeless body in the hospital. I was 52, and suddenly I remembered when he was in his 50's and I thought how could that time from then to his death have gone by so fast - surprise and terror. I began to think about my own mortality and how I wanted to live my life from then on. It was quite the revelation.

      Thanks for the fine hub - good work.

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