Author – Sneha Sampath
There are many misconceptions about when a person actually becomes an adult but I will share with you my experience which made me feel that I had truly become an adult.
When I was younger, maybe fifteen or so, I used to care only about what I and the people around me wanted and this included my friends and family. At the time, they were my world and I was ready to do anything for them. I was a teenager who wanted to live my life happily.
But as years progressed, things changed in me. I started to become more humble and also expanded the small circle of people that I cared about. I wanted to do something for society and bring a smile to someone’s face. Eventually, I got the chance to do that.
I had gone out with my friends to a popular restaurant for lunch. We had a lovely time, and the food was out of this world. After having a hearty lunch, we headed out to our bikes to go home. That was when I spotted a boy, who was maybe seven or eight years old, selling colouring books.
He came up to me and said in the native language, “Please buy this book sister, I am hungry and haven’t eaten anything from morning.” I felt a thousand needles pierce my heart at that moment. Here I was, just heading out after having a sumptuous lunch and this boy hadn’t even eaten anything the entire day.
In an instant, I realized that it was time not only to take but to give as well. I wanted this little boy to experience joy just like I did. I bought four colouring books worth sixty rupees from him. His face instantly lit up with a smile and that made me smile as well.
I felt that was not enough. So I bought an ice cream for him from a nearby vendor. The expression that I saw on his face that day was priceless and I still remember that smile. He thanked me and settled down on the pavement to have his ice cream. I was nineteen when all this happened.
After that incident, I realized that I was slowly becoming an adult. I think I finally reached adulthood when I contributed a part of my first salary to the orphanage. This was just five months back and I am twenty-two now.
Adulthood is something that does not come with age or physical maturity. Everybody ages, everybody matures. But it is the deeds you do that sets you apart from everyone else. I think adulthood comes the moment when you realize that you want to make this world a better place, or at the time when you realize that you want to spread joy, or at the time when the meaning of humanity and forgiveness finally dawns on you.
To put it in simple words, it is at that moment when you truly understand the magic and meaning that Michael Jackson tried to convey through his song ‘Heal the World’ that you become an adult.
This story submitted as part of our Short Story Contest