Someone recently told me that “If you’re going to have a difficult life, it might as well be childhood, since it’s so short.”
I disagree. It’s the percentage of life that is difficult that matters most, and a difficult childhood skews that percentage for a long, long time.
If you have a difficult childhood, that means that 100% of your life up until a certain age is difficult, and these are fundamental years upon which the foundation of our lives is often set.
This alone is exceptionally damaging to people.
Equally important, it takes a long, long time for that percentage to even shift to a 50/50 split.
If you're life was difficult until the age of 16, for example, you won't attain a 50/50 split of difficult to not difficult until you're 32 years old, and that is assuming that none of the years between the ages of 17 to 32 were difficult, which is unlikely.
Even if that's the case, you've now only reached a 50-50 split. Half your life was hard. Half was not. You're still not looking back with rose-colored classes.
You'll need to reach the age of 48 before two-thirds of your life wasn't difficult and 64 before three-quarters of your life wasn't difficult, and all of this is assuming that none of the years between ages 17 and 64 are difficult, which is, of course, a ridiculous assumption.
No, if you're going to have a difficult life, make it anything but childhood. I wish every person on the planet a childhood filled with love, joy, learning, productive struggle, and great success.
If it's then followed by hardship, at least the foundation will be solid and coping strategies will be in place, and the person experiencing the hardship will be able to lean on the memory of those childhood years with a sense of what has been and could be again.
Do you know what kind of person thinking that if you’re going to have a difficult life, it might as well be childhood, since it’s so short?
It's a person who experienced a childhood free of hardship and has no understanding of the long term impact that 100% of your life being difficult can have on the remainder of your life.