Monday, December 27, 2010

Growing Down, Growing Up

There is a line in a song by my favorite singer (who shall remain nameless since it can be figured out by any of my tweets or some of my statuses on Facebook) that talks about the concept of growing down and growing up. In one of her tweets, this singer expounded on what leads to these two states.  To paraphrase: surrounding yourself with those who love you are the beginnings of growing up, feeding into ignorance are the beginnings are growing down.

To put a related spin on it, growing down could also mean self-doubt, low self-esteem, depression, and negative thinking. Growing up, then, is finding yourself, seeking the good for yourself and others in every circumstance, perseverance in trial, and understanding the true meaning of happiness, faith, hope, and love.

Granted, “growing down” and “growing up” aren’t easy conditions to get in.  The key is, however, is recognizing which direction you’re going, which in itself is a part of growing up. This brings up another line from the same song:

“…you gotta ooh-ah-ah like a panther…”
As of the moment I’m writing this, I couldn’t find, for purposes of this note, any details on the vocalizations cats make and their significance in communicating. According to Microsoft Encarta (2001), however, cats growl when terrified. It notes that Darwin, one of the first scientists to observe emotion, understood this reaction to evolve from movements associated with fighting and over time became used in all threatening situations.
When “growing down”, it’s easy to get terrified-of change, of getting out of that state, of making the proper moves to “grow up” when you’re ready to make that change-the list can go on. The “growl” is thus a signal that change is needed. A natural reaction, it’s an indication that something’s wrong.  If nature didn’t give animals such manners of communication, they’d be in even more danger. No signal of a problem means the appropriate reaction to the threat couldn’t be implemented. The same is true for humanity.

To “ooh-ah-ah like a panther”, then, is to recognize when you’re getting depressed, doubtful, or negative thoughts.  It means acknowledging when you’re facing such issues.  It’s also reaching out to those you trust in these instances.  By no means is it a walk in the park. From the long-term, view, however, the momentary inconvenience of the “growing up” process outweigh the lasting effects of “growing down”.

Emotional display in dog and cat. (2001) In Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia[CD-Rom].    Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation

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