I’ve got a new favorite word.
I used it in a post recently and it struck me that “adult” is smack dab in the middle of the word. (Call me slow to catch on.) Of course, I always knew that “adult” was in the word “unadulterated,” but I never took the time to consider the connection between that little fact and the actual definition of the word.
- Not mingled or diluted with extraneous matter; pure.
- Out-and-out; utter: the unadulterated truth.
And the thesaurus included these synonyms: Free from extraneous elements: absolute, perfect, plain, pure, simple, undiluted, unmixed.
Hmm….children are certainly not “diluted with extraneous matter.” They are not weighed down by silly rules, unimportant to-do list tasks, or the mindless day-to-day minutia that bogs down so many “adults.” They are free to live life abundantly, with a reckless abandon that eschews the regrets of the past and the anxieties of the future in order to embrace the holy present.
Children are pure. They are innocent up until some adult (or the world we adults created) robs them of that innocence by introducing violence, dishonesty, or abuse.
Children are simple. The whiz-bang, wirelessly-operated toy du jour can’t hold a candle to a giant empty cardboard box. Not in a million years. And they’re not really impressed by Dad’s impressive job title and fat salary or Mom’s PhD and impressive credentials. Not in the least. What does it for them? Playing hide and seek, being pushed on the swings, tickle fights, homemade chocolate chip cookies, and bedtime stories starring heroes and princesses. Pretty simple stuff.
It seems to me that life’s problems pop up when you add an “adult” to the situation. The English prefix “un” has two meanings. The first is “not, or opposite of”, and the other is “reverse action, or release from.” I am led to believe that the key to a happy and full life is to become the opposite of all of the bad aspects of adulthood, or to “reverse” the “adult” side of ourselves. Young children don’t have any of that adult side in them, which is why they are unadulterated (simple, pure, and not diluted with extraneous matter).
So I have a new favorite word.
And a new goal as well: To become as unadulterated as possible.