Part of my ego died the first time a child called me “Mister”. I froze. The language the boy was using and the language I identified my being with did not match. I was a young person, in my mid-20s. Surely “Mister” was a word to refer to old people. My mind raced, a thousand thoughts in a fraction of a second. I gave meaning to those words.
“He is young, and to him it is natural I would be identified as a fully fletched adult person, just like this boy’s parents. Did I see his parents throw a look at their son? Do they think his use of ‘Mister’ didn’t correspond with reality?”
I had a choice. I could have taken that label onboard (which in part I did, or I wouldn’t have such a clear memory of it). I became a little bit older, in my mind. A little bit less flexible. A little bit more responsible. A little bit more entitled?
Or I could have disregarded that label. Since it didn’t come from my inner being, that was not my perception of me. And I was not letting someone else define who I was.
Anyhow, it provided some material for reflexion, and that was the beauty of it. At that time I had not remembered that I have the power to declare that I am what I declare I am.
I remember exactly when and where this happened. It was in the dining room of the youth hostel Pic de L’Àliga, in my beloved Pyrenees. In August 2010.