The Human Life Cycle
Which stage of the human life cycle is the most important?
Some cultures claim that infancy is the key stage, when a baby’sis wide open to new experiences that will influence all the rest of his/her later life. Others might argue that it’s adolescence or young adulthood, when physical health is at its peak. Some say midlife, because of the contribution to society and keeping the economy going, is most important. However, many cultures value late adulthood more than any other, arguing that it is at this stage that the human being has finally acquired the wisdom necessary to guide and mentor others.
Who is right?
The truth of the matter is that every stage of life is equally important, significant and necessary for the welfare, self-development and growth of being human (i.e. a self-actualization LDP). The twelve stages of life each has its own unique “gift” to offer and we need to value each one of these gifts when we are to truly support the deepest needs of our own beingness. The twelve gifts of the human life cycle can be indicated as follows…
- Pre-birth: Potential
- Birth: Hope
- Infancy (± ages 0-3): Vitality
- Early Childhood (± ages 4-6): Playfulness
- Middle Childhood (± ages 7-8): Imagination
- Puberty (± ages 9-12): Ingenuity
- Adolescence (± ages 13-20): Passion
- Youth (± ages 21-35): Enterprise
- Midlife (± ages 36-50): Contemplation
- Mature Adulthood (± ages 51-80): Benevolence
- Late Adulthood (± age 81+): Wisdom
- Death & Dying: Life
Since each stage of life has its own unique gift to offer to humanity, we need to do whatever we can to fully support each stage, and to protect each stage from attempts to either suppress or derail its individual contribution to the human life cycle. Thus, we need to be wary and cautious - for example - of attempts to thwart a young child’s need to play through the establishment high-pressure formal academic preschools. We should protect the wisdom of the aged from elder abuse and to “remove them from society” and isolate them in “ fullest potential.”. We need to do what we can to help our adolescents at risk. We need to advocate for prenatal education and services for we must become acutely aware of, support and nurture the human life cycle, with the same dedication that we chase after the proverbial “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”. By supporting each stage of the human life cycle, we will help to ensure that all of its members are given the care and assistance to blossom to their