The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

How Old Do You Have To Be?

I was watching a local morning TV show this AM. The show did a segment on a sixteen-year-old girl who was a certified yoga instructor. They were making a big deal about how she was the only one ever… But, that’s not true. I was a certified yoga instructor at sixteen and I am sure there were those, at that age, that came before me and after me. But, I get it, it was a hype piece. And yes, that is pretty cool that the girl is a young yoga instructor. But, there are a lot of people that do a lot of things when they’re young. I think one of the big problems with life is, so many people are held back from accomplishing things when they are young all based on their age. From this, a lot of young people are driven away from truly accomplishing; for when you are young you have the time, the desire, and the motivation to achieve your dream but, if you are stopped from doing that, defined solely by your age, then what is anyone left with? A life possibly lived unfulfilled.

Certainly, (for whatever karmic reason), I became involved with the martial arts and with Eastern Stuff like Hatha Yoga when I was very young. I guess that’s a good thing??? It certainly came to define my life. I mean, I earned my black belt before I was even a teenager. This was before someone came up with, what I considered to be a very stupid idea, of only awarding junior black belts to those people who are under the age of eighteen. If you earned it, you earned it!

Back then, things were very different. No one gave out black belt diplomas or anything like that. Though I was formally teaching the martial arts by the age of like thirteen or fourteen, as an assistant instructor, (or whatever you want to call that position), nobody ever gave me a diploma stating that fact, like seemingly everybody must have today. It was just understood that I knew my stuff and I could teach.

The story told of the young yoga instructor is that she and her mother looked for several years for someone who would allow a teenage girl to take a yoga instructor’s training program. Finally, she found one. They showed her certificate but I’ve never even heard of the organization that awarded it. So, what does that certificate mean? Back when I first became involved with Eastern Thought and offshoots like Hatha Yoga, no one ever asked me my age. I was just allowed to be who and what I was. By seventeen, I was helping at full-on Yoga Retreats. Though all of the retreat leaders knew my age, they did not define me by my age.

By twenty-one, when I was a martial arts school owner, I used to hate it when sixteen or seventeen years old potential students would come in to sign up and I would have to tell them they had to get their parents to sign their release form as they were not legally an adult. In their mind, they were. In my mind, as well. But, the law is the law is the law.

Back in my day, no one ever asked me (or my parents) to sign anything. If they had, they may have really turned me off and made me walk a different life path. But, I was simply allowed to be and to learn what I was ready to learn.

So, want does this tell us? It tells us that life, that the people of life, wish to take command over the life of others. They may wish to do this by defining a person by their age or by the certificates they were allowed to earn. What it does not allow is a person to be whatever it is they truly are, wherever they may find themselves in the pathway of their life.

You hear a lot about how there is age discrimination for the elderly. For the young, however, it just has become all so expected. “You’re too young to do that?” Why? Why is anyone too young to do what they have the desire to do? Why is anyone too young to accomplish what they desire to accomplish; no matter how old they are?

So, as you pass through life, think about this. As you meet and interact with other people, think about this. Think about how you judge a person based upon their age. Think about what they are kept from achieving simply because of their age. Remember what you may have been kept from accomplishing based upon your age.

Life is a pathway of accomplishments. If you stop someone from accomplishing, for whatever reason, you may have truly robbed the world from the true gift(s) that they had to provide humanity.