If you had to live forever as either a child, an adolescent, or an adult, which would you choose — and why?
By John Yeo
Living forever is a very wide, frighteningly difficult prospect to imagine indeed.
The three categories all raise some very difficult and probably unanswerable questions. My first impulse was to think adult, certainly, but even so this choice raises some very formidable questions.
(1) I will start with the prospect of living forever as a child? The questions leap off the page. Would I forever have the mind of a child? I don't think so. A steady accumulation of knowledge gleaned from every source would certainly alter the thinking process, the mind surely would develop and grow. Would living forever as a child require the same dependence on adults to shelter, feed and provide for the needs of the everlasting child. As the birth parents would inevitably live for a normal average lifespan, who would take on the responsibility of caring for an everlasting child at their deaths. Then any potential carers would also die and replacements would have to be found continuously through the succeeding generations.
One of the dreams of the idea of living as a child would be the magical world of discovery, a continual living within the dream of fairy tales and exploration. Sadly this could never happen as the magic and the glitter and gloss would soon wear off and I suspect there would always be an adult inside of the person who opted to live life as a child.
(2) I think the prospect of living forever as an adolescent would be even worse than the prospect of living forever as a child. Adolescence is a time of discovery and finding the path through the pitfalls and heartbreaks that one inevitably encounters on the road to adult-hood. A time of falling in love and facing rejection or a long relationship of give and take, ups and downs with the person desired. Adolescence is a time of hard study as the future beckons and the choice of which road to take beckons the young person. Adolescence is a time of discovery of both good and bad experiences. Friends made now are usually friends for life as the young men and women grow up together, sampling and discovering the pitfalls of this world together. The worst aspect of an everlasting adolescence would be the fact that your closest friends would outgrow you, as they made their way into adulthood. I am writing these words in the belief that I would stay with the physical looks and outlook of an adolescent. Sadly my early friends would slowly die as the limits of a natural lifespan took their toll and I would be hampered from making new adolescent friends as my inevitable growing mind wouldn't allow for the boredom that would ensue by going to college again. Once again as eternity slowly passed, I suspect that I would eventually become an adolescent in name only.
(3) So far, I think most people who have read this far would say then, the answer to the question is obvious. Alas nothing is as easy as it looks, living forever as an adult could be just as frightening and difficult as the other two alternatives, if not more difficult. As one enters adulthood, there is no actual borderline between adolescence and adulthood as many people become adults at very different times in their lives. Some grow up very fast and to some the phase of adulthood comes very slowly perhaps with a nasty shock as new responsibilities become apparent. I will say that an adult is a person who has developed an individual way of life, settled in a chosen career, or not, as fate would dictate. Perhaps they are in a relationship with a spouse or a very good friend, and they have children, or perhaps they are loving and living an individual lifestyle with a circle of firm friends. Now comes the difficult harsh truth, you are going to live forever! Loved ones will die, your children will age and die, your friends will age and die.
I suspect living forever in any of these three stages of life could be the loneliest prospect imaginable.
Unless the whole generation and the following generations were all going to live forever as fully matured people. I am sure that from childhood through adolescence to adulthood is an unalterable natural progression and to be stuck in any one mode would be sadly unnatural.
Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.