Keeping Company

The jury’s still out on whether chocolate and caffeine harm or help us. I’m inclined to embrace the news that they reduce cholesterol, prevent memory loss, and decrease inflammation leading to heart disease, although caffeine may not be great for children.

How is it, though, that something that’s harmful at 5 or 15 no longer hurts us at 18 or 21? How is age or maturity a safeguard against the effects of drugs, pesticides, movies, or ideas? In my experience, fragility increases with age, and the delayed effects of our choices haunt us 5, 10, 20, 50 years down the road.

Adults tell kids, “Someday when you’re old enough, big enough, lucky enough, wise enough, smart enough, miserable enough, or mature enough, you too can eat that, smoke that, drink that, listen to that, and watch that.”

Misery and maturity both love company, but I’m pretty sure they avoid the company of wisdom.

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