When are you mature? What does it mean – to be mature? Does it happen automatically as you grow older?
I think maturity is not directly linked to your age. We all can think of at least one example when an adult is acting like a child and a young person seems to have an ‘old soul’. I don’t think maturity comes automatically with age.
In my view, maturity is directly linked to responsibility. It doesn’t mean you never make mistakes and always know what is the right thing to do. But a mature person cannot fall back on the excuses of childhood – he/she started it, it’s not my fault and the like.
If I want to call myself mature, I have to be able to deal with the consequences of my actions. Without excuses. Simply own them, whatever they are. Even if it’s embarrassing, even if I don’t want to admit that it was really me (I am not like that!), even when the whole world is watching and even when no one except me noticed.
You can do whatever you want, if you can deal with the consequences.
And I think, if you are a person who truthfully thinks about consequences and whether you can really deal with them, then you will not end up doing whatever you want.
Because that is maturity – to understand beyond a shadow of doubt that freedom comes with responsibility. Always.
2 thoughts on “Maturity”
How can we achieve that we are always aware of the consequences of our doings? Is this linked to knowledge, wisdom, finally education? Is there a link between maturity and education (the appropriate one)? To what extent we are dependent to get mature? Are we dependent on the nature, our environment, ourselves only? Is the level of our knowledge about the consequences of our actions stable? As a consequence, do we have different levels, understanding of being mature? Is this dependent on the world’s intelligence? Are there limitations of maturity in dependence of our age, physical and mental abilities? Responsibility – do we have a definition for this term, valid for everybody everywhere? So, whether someone is mature, acts with responsability isn’t so easy to say. Guess we have different perspectives on somebody being mature, or not. Is is also to a certain extent a proof of maturity writing such a statement? Curious to read a comment to this comment.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am glad my short article caused so many questions in your mind. Of course, I cannot answer them all and I hope you will accept my following response. Despite the fact that such terms as responsibility and maturity are interpreted differently in different cultures, societies, times, environments and of course also on an individual level, we still have these terms and mostly everyone has an opinion about them. That means something. I think it points to the importance we place on the ideas that stand behind the terms. As a proof of that we even develop our legal systems having these ideas at their foundation. That is why, for instance, if I, being a fully grown individual, get myself a pet and after a while get tired and bored of having to take care of it instead of only playing with it and dump it at my parents, we tend to see it in a different light than if this same scenario happened with a, let’s say, 9 years old child. The act as such as irresponsible in both cases. However, we tend to link our expectations of maturity level of a person to their ability to understand potential consequences of their actions before they act. Therefore, we expect more in this respect from an adult than from a child. That is also the reason why, I think, it is so important to help children develop this understanding from the very beginning (be it in the family, at school, or community at large).