1. Post these rules before presenting your list.
2. List 6 actions or achievements you think every person should accomplish before turning 18.
3. There are no conditions on what can be included on the list.
4. At the end of your blog, choose 6, or less, people to get tagged and list their names.
5. People who are tagged write their own blog entry with their 6 suggestions.
6. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged.
Answering this tag is probably one of the most challenging mental tasks I've had to perform in recent times. First, I’ve totally forgotten how it is to be eighteen again. I can think late twenties, early thirties, but teens! That’s so damn hard. Then, when I finally mustered enough memories to get me in the right frame of mind I faced a cold adamant reality. So much has changed since then. All of a sudden, I feel so old.
Speaking of which, I just underwent my “supposedly” annual checkup and medical tests. Well it’s been at least 3 years since my last one. I’m in excellent shape except… high cholesterol. That means I must start some research on what to eat and what not to AND how to live and how not to. On this sobering note and after considering that my oldest daughter is already passed that age, Annie took me back to 18.
1. Before 18, each boy and girl must’ve tried sleeping in a tent at least once. One of the highlights of my early teens was being a boy scout. I have spent many a summer in the fabulous outdoors around Tartous. At 16, I camped solo on Bseereh Beach for three consecutive months, visiting town no more than once or twice. My love for the outdoors and the wilderness is still a major component of my character.
2. Reaching 18 is an important milestone from a social point of view. It’s a significant landmark in many cultures: You are an adult now and you are responsible for your actions. Prior to that, we must have fallen in love and suffered some heartache. Sure, it’s often a crush rather than love in a true sense but these are the memories that will probably last forever. We should always look back fondly without remorse, without regrets. Since we are vulnerable during that stage due to our mental and physical, often painful, development, I think it wouldn’t be such a good idea to experience sex until a few years later. An innocent kiss, a guiltless touch, an adolescent embrace are everlastingly more precious.
3. We should experience, even if briefly or on a part-time basis, work before 18. We should appreciate the value of labor and be grateful to what our parents have been doing for us. I only worked for one summer before becoming an adult but the little money I made brought me pride, assurance and self-respect. We must be young when we comprehend the firm concept that work and a career are not the most central aspects of our future, yet that they provide us with freedom and self-determination.
4. Fun and play should consume most of our free time before 18. Sports, silly games, strange hobbies must be enjoyed to the fullest without shame or remorse. When we’re not playing nothing beats reading or learning a second language. I acquired the addictive habit of reading and in a second language during those early years. In addition to the experiences I’ve accumulated on my own the books I’ve read helped in shaping my personality. Today, I’m a product of my own deeds as well as the powerful written words of total strangers.
5. We must at least have one very good friend before 18. As far as I’m concerned, these are the same people I still call best friends almost thirty years later. What brought us together back then was totally void of material benefit or advantage. We are still friends for the exact same reason. I don’t want anything from them. They don’t want anything from me. We just enjoy each other’s company. Although it’s possible to harvest such friendships later in life, it’s extremely difficult.
6. Finally, we must cherish our parents and their presence in our lives. Sometime in the future, and if nature follows its course, we’re going to lose them. It will be a devastating blow no matter when it befalls us. We will accept it, recover and eventually make up for our losses by caring even more for our own offspring. But as long as we are under our parents’ wings we should take pleasure in the warmth they provide us with, we should bask in their offered security and ultimately learn from them and obey, yes obey, what seems at times their harsh rules.
The molding and shaping of our personalities start during our fetal stage. Childhood and adolescence are cornerstones of who we truly are and become. Self-respect acquired by honest purposeful labor and our benevolence to others are the remaining foundations that make a man or a woman worthy of humanity.
I’m tagging a couple of old mates and some younger ones: Syrian Brit, Abu Kareem, Karen, Dubai Jazz and Kaya.