What’s the most important thing you did between the ages of 1 and 17?

I’ve noticed that introductions to historical figures or public personalities often go something like this: “Jane was born in New York to working class parents. After her first semester of college, Jane did such-and-such etc…” Many biographical summaries follow the same pattern (whether on Wikipedia, a textbook, or news article). On one hand, I completely understand that a person’s lasting impact in the world often doesn’t come until adulthood. But on the other hand, these bios make me wonder if truly nothing of importance happened in those first 2-ish decades of life. What would you point to as the most important thing YOU did between the ages of 1 and 17 (that is to say, before legal adulthood)? You must have made some decision, done something, said something, or even just shown up for a crucial moment in a way that impacted your character. People don’t just materialize overnight into their adult selves and adult potential. We emerge gradually. What big moments (big looking back on them, anyway) can you point to from your own childhood?

Source: WBQ Original inspired by this book on the history of public education in America

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