“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11
One near-certainty of Act Two is the assumption that we should be beyond “childish things.” But which childish things? And who says we have to put childish things aside, anyway–”they” aren’t The Boss Of Us.
There’s an expectation that we’re not supposed to enjoy unsophisticated or undignified things. Like going down sliding boards or bubble lawnmowers. That we should leave these things to youth and inexperience, as if they somehow could appreciate them better, not having had a lifetime’s worth of the hard, practical realities with which to compare them.
I do not argue that yes, a real lawnmower can be a better “grown-up” toy than one that only mows bubbles (no, wait–the jury’s still out on that one because BUBBLES, DAMMIT!).
But some of the ideas we leave behind as “childish things” are the very things a successful Act Two needs. Like the ability to see the wonder in ordinary things–without having to justify it with religion, philosophy, or pass it off as a joke (because you’re too “grown-up” for that). The ability to accept things that you don’t understand as still being possible, even if you don’t get the “how.”
After all, it’s easy to lose your belief in the Better Angels of people when they keep showing you their Greater Demons.
But the greatest part of living the Act Two life is discovering something new. It’s remembering why bubbles are fun, even if you think you’re not “supposed to” anymore. It’s opening yourself to that possibility that Wonderful Things are still out there, waiting to be discovered, even if your life experience wants you to believe that you’re No Longer Eligible. Because they are still out there, and if you’re the star of your life’s Act Two, then you are the explorer that can discover them.