Why was this book written? It was written because growing up in today’s world is not an easy task. From the age of five to twenty years the rate of learning and adjusting expected of an individual is nothing short of colossal. One’s home environment, geographical location, ethnicity, school life and interaction with others are major factors. From the moment of completing our first eleven or twelve years of prescribed schooling we are exposed to and expected to thrive in the world outside our front door using only the tools we have been supplied with; and not just the physical world, there is also the world fed to us via television, the social media networks and the electronic information superhighway of the internet. Amongst all this we need to remember just how difficult growing up can be, even without being exposed to global connectivity. Forming a self-image, comparing one’s self to other human beings in the world and finding one’s place within the dizzying array of humanity is a major undertaking. It has to be confronting and difficult. There will be many of a young age who do not have the advantage of living within a loving, healthy family. If a child is fortunate and has two parents, the pressures of modern living often dictate that both parents work for an income and commit so much of their time to that, it results in them being unavailable to their children for much this vital period — children who need access to their time and attention — leaving them to sort out so many aspects of their lives for themselves, giving rise to the possibility of a range of life-altering mistakes to occur.
Growing up was confusing in my own time, although I would count my childhood as being as good as it gets, and yet even then it was difficult and perplexing. It should be neither of those.
I have watched the world catapult itself into the twenty-first century with pride, amazement and despair. I got to wondering how I would fair if my own childhood had coincided with all that is going on at this time. I remembered the difficulties I experienced, the things which took far too long to assimilate and for me to come to terms with. Many questions did not find appropriate answers until late into adulthood. Some never found answers. Aside from the question and answer component, there are the existential concerns we all deal with. There are so many facets to existence, so many paths to choose from, so many decisions to make, and, when one is able to step back to view it all clearly, so little allotted time in these our lives. This book is an attempt to put a little prospective on the whole crazy deal, perhaps open a few doors which might otherwise have remained unopened or even unnoticed, to point out that there is no gulf of emptiness between one human being and another, and hopefully to entertain just a little. This rendering might be considered a Primer, posing questions which, as time goes by, will need answering.
I have found it impossible to do these things without prizing open the door to a few personal experiences, the intent of it being to illustrate that life is never straightforward and not always logical, to reflect human idiosynchrocies and differences as an embroidery which only serves to enrich life, and encourage emerging adults to have faith in themselves, to validate how they see, feel and assign meaning to the world they live in — the world we share.