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Growing up =
- not being counterproductive
- do and say intelligent things
- do and say things that has a purpose
Don't know about others, but growth strikes me as an accumulation. You grow by having more experiences, more knowledge, more emotions, and in general just facing the unknown. Why, if you were to stay in a room somewhere and never go out of it, you'd stay just right where you are, not growing.
Growing up means being less stupid than the day you were before. Or being more wise.
If a child believes he is grown then how can he grow? The unenlightened often believes he is wise. If we have the desire to grow then the first step is to believe that we know nothing. Humility is a very potent tool for a thinker. I do not at all believe that growth is subject to age but i do believe that with age we can grow from new experiences. A human is much like a puddle. Raindrops fall into that puddle and become part of it. The ripples create new angles of light and since time is only a term to describe events the puddle remembers. A puddle does one very important thing--- it reflects. A person who can reflect and learn from the smallest things in life is becoming wise.
Concerning holding onto childishness I think we should change our definition a bit. In my opinion childishness is the habitual thought processes and reckless emotions that stunt our growth as a person. We should try to achieve balance. It is good to hold tight to imagination because it is our way of creation and the recipe for new ideas. We should retain the innocence of childhood and bind it with our experiences, loves, and ideas.