Maturity Loves Company

Jury’s still out on whether caffeine and chocolate harm or hurt us. Studies indicate that they may reduce cholesterol, prevent memory loss, and decrease inflammation that leads to heart disease. Not long ago, it was revealed how harmful caffeine can be for children.

What confounds me is the notion that what’s harmful at 5 or 6, 15 or 16 is no longer harmful at 18 or 19, 32 or 55–that somehow “maturity” is a safeguard against the effects of drugs, pesticides, movies, ideas, whatever. Seems to me that fragility increases with age. The delayed effects of our choices haunt us 5, 10, 20, 50 years down the road.

A kid will tell you, “Don’t eat that, smoke that, drink that, listen to that, watch that. It’s bad for you.”

An adult will respond, “Someday when you’re old enough, big enough, lucky enough, wise enough, smart enough, miserable enough, mature enough, you’ll join me.”

Wisdom may increase with age, but honesty doesn’t. As with misery, maturity loves company. Together, they’re lethal and not at all good for relationships. One way or another the piper gets paid.

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