It’s quarter to three in the morning and I’m busy delving in the expanse of my mind, another lost mind trip which has led me to another conclusion.

We don’t have just one age; we have five, in three different categories.

We have their categories of physical, conceptual, and perceptual ages.

The physical category contains only one age: your physical age. This number is in reality how long you’ve existed, how long you’ve been on Earth. It can be affected by a variety of things such as appearance and physical condition. It also affects other ages as well as providing its own benefits such as a positive perception by society to do with abilities, appearances, maturity, mental capacity. It works both ways, unfortunately, leaving some groups of physical ages left undesired.

The conceptual category holds two ages: the mind and soul.

The age of the mind refers to mental capacity and maturity, your ability to comprehend the world and ideas around you. The age of your soul, however, is based on how you interact with the world. Both of these ages have many factors that affect them, as well affecting the other respectively. Your mental age is affected by education, your learning style, and experiences. The age of your soul is affected by your beliefs, values, experiences, and emotions. These ages can be often close or exact in range because they go hand in hand. Your education and opportunities affect your opinions and beliefs you develop, changing the way you perceive and interact with the world. Your maturity is a major deciding factor.

The last category, perceptual ages, contains two: perceived age and desired age.

Your perceived age is the age other people see you, and therefore, likely how they treat you. It’s affected by every age mentioned above and affects your conceptual and desired ages. People’s opinions affect us, changing our attitudes and actions based on what others perceive to be positive. While some don’t let other people affect them as much, it stands to reason that everyone is affected, especially by stereotypes and prejudices of society based on age.

Finally, we reach the last age: your desired age. This is the age you want people to see you and treat you as. This is affected by every other age, though it may not affect the other ages itself. People who lack in the conceptual ages category might rely on their physical age as their desired age. People who appear young but are far more developed in the conceptual category may hope that they are perceived as older to be treated as society’s concept of maturity deems fit. Prejudices and stereotypes of certain age groups, the perceived age, affects desired age as well. Children sometimes want to be treated as older because they’re talked down and seen as inferior due to their physical age. An elder person may act far younger in the conceptual category to seem younger to those who aren’t fond of the older generation, an example being the midlife crisis.

Ages range, vary, and affect each other, forever changing. You do not have only one age.

As for me, I’d hope my development in my conceptual ages would override and negative thoughts based on my physical age. As I’m physically only 17, I’d hope the ages of my mind and soul would be seen through society’s views on young adults enough to be treated as intellectually equal to those with higher physical age.

Conclusion reached: November 21, 2015


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