Age Is Just A Number, Bro—And a Random One at That
Why does turning eighteen make me so much more mature? I'm expected to believe that just because I've made my eighteenth trip around the sun, all of a sudden I magically became worthy of being an adult? I fail to see the difference between my qualifications for adulthood between the day I turned eighteen and any other day in my life. In fact, truth be told, I think I've regressed since I hit legal adulthood.
Seriously, what's with the insane premise that all human beings mature at exactly the same rate? As children we are all constantly told that everyone's different, that we all grow at different rates and that it's completely natural. I know this, you know this, but apparently no one told the government this, seeing as they find it completely logical that we all become fully functioning adults right when we turn eighteen, regardless of the actual development of each individual.
I mean, isn't age really nothing more than a measure of how long you've been around, a way of establishing seniority? It doesn't necessarily translate into maturity or knowledge – being older certainly doesn't make you wiser or smarter. I've met plenty of so-called adults with the awareness and thought processes of a child, and conversely, I've met teenagers with more self-awareness, poise, and general intelligence than some of our nation's adults. I'm sure that you can think of plenty of celebrities you would prefer not to vote. Hell, I'm sure you can think of several politicians who shouldn't be allowed to vote. And on the flip-side, I'm sure you can think of a few minors who're more than ready to vote.
But let's ignore the ludicrous idea that we all grow at the same rate. Let's forget for a minute that to the government, being eighteen is all it takes to be an adult. All that aside, the other thing that really bugs me about hitting this randomly set legal milestone, is that it's not all-inclusive. Amongst the many rights that I gain, the right to drink is not one of them. Yes, that makes total sense: I can die for my country, vote on who's going to run it, and be charged as an adult for any illegal act that I commit, but I sure as hell can't enjoy a drink. Where is the logic here?
People talk about crazy laws like how in one city it's illegal to buy, sell, or possess a squirt gun, and they laugh at the ludicrousness of these rules. But take a minute to sit down and think about our national laws, the rules that govern the entire country, and how crazy some of them are.