I'm a simple girl with a li'l dream, of seeing her humble works in exquisite print, to share with all who feels for words, written with
an unsupressable urge. So indugle in my fantasies, and plow your way through my memories, greatly appreciated you will be,
if you can leave your comments here for me.


Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Maturity Demystified


Artwork by Evon Lim

I was caught off guard recently when a blogger friend asked me to explain what maturity means, and the qualities one should possess to be seen as a mature individual.

Frankly, it's not the question that got me stumped. It's who he posed that question to that almost made me tumble off my swivelling chair.

Look at me. I am the last person you would ask about maturity - seriously. I have irrational mood swings. I am freakingly emotional. I have that occasional but sudden passionate outbursts. I can be rash and impetuous. And I am a li'l girl trapped in an aging, decaying, horizontally expanding and vertically challenged body.

Ok ok. I shouldn't make excuses for myself. Since you've asked - my dear friend, so you shall receive. My concept of maturity may be warped, so please take what I blog here with a huge spoonful of salt.

Maturity - to me - is a mindset, which in turn will translate into observable behavioural patterns, and materializing in several forms such as responses, reactions, actions and speech. It is a state of the mind.

Simply put, maturity comes from within. It is often determined by oneself, but defined by others.

For example, I may feel that I'm mature because I have been through a lot in life and accumulated pain and experience along the way to emphatize and offer solid advice. I may be mature in handling work issues and politics. I'm less emotional when it comes to focusing on my goals and pursuing my dreams. My head sits tightly screwed on my shoulders when I'm depended upon to offer solutions to critical problems. I do not falter in the face of challenge and never give up when things do not go my way. My sensible and responsible nature reflect the mature me in the eyes of my friends.

On the flipside of the coin, I could also seem immature during the times I throw my tantrums, sulk or exhibit a ridiculously unreasonable behaviour, or any of the other actions I've listed in the earlier paragraphs.

Many could not resist equating age to maturity. After spending some three decades struggling in the real world, I discovered a number of older people I've encountered in the days of my life, work, school and social network are quite a distance from the nirvana state of maturity.

You cannot imagine the childish words that sprung forth from their mouths when they are angry or upset. You can hardly believe your eyes when they react mindlessly to protect their egos or pride. You cannot help laughing at the few who resort to juvenile acts for personal gains.

I don't have to go really far to prove my point. Look around you at the heads of state who fell out of favour with their people; men with graying hair in the likes of Osama bin Laden; historical figures in power who committed some of the world's gravest mistakes. Maturity seems to elude them too, isn't it?

I can't tell for sure what qualities you really need to be deem a mature person. In my humble and baseless opinion, I would think that he would be objective, calm, reasonable, and righteous (morally sound, that is). He would have the ability to differentiate right from wrong, truth from fiction, good from evil. He takes no sides, spreads no gossips, bears no grudges and exacts no vengeance.

I guess whenever I'm on the verge of veering towards the immaturity complex, I can always go back to that one reference who embodies "maturity" in every aspect of his behaviour and thought.

Think Jesus.

One really effective way is to infuse these 4 letters in each and every part of your life - WWJD.

What Would Jesus Do?

"Maturity is achieved when a person postpones immediate pleasures for long-term values." ~ Joshua Loth Liebman

17 comments:

Pet Fanatic said...

Maturity:

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

Corinthians 13:11

Like Space, an ever expanding universe, never stopping. Like a fruit, the day you stop Growing/Matureing, you start rotting.

Maturity is the ability to undertake responsibility, may it be for work or play, Or even the mistakes you have done in your life and the choices we make, may it be out of circumstances or a emotional mood swing.

We all make mistakes, but what more important we are careful and alert to learn from them and help other whom might have fallen.

Some also put it as the ability to learn and un-learn some of the lessons in life.

And it's never wrong to release the inner child in us once a while, When the world seems overwhelming and anxiety lurks in every corner. As children often creates a world where they hide away and rest for a while.

More importantly, Seek the key to life: Balance.

My God is the God of the 2nd Chances. Do you allow yourself a second chance?

Cheers

Richard said...

I doubt very much that you can get a good definition of maturity. It is something elusive, like reputation or respect. It is a way of approaching life and the world.

I am not one in favour of WWJD (despite having been a Christian all my life). The reason I don’t like it is because people perceive Jesus in different ways – from a solemn, serious, no smiles here please, figure, to someone who is pretty much a big hippie. It also, in my mind, puts a limitation on Jesus / God by boxing Him into your vision of Him.

As well, it is not enough to ask WWJD, but more importantly, what is Jesus’ motivation and goal? In my world that is justice and human excellence.

So, to that end, I prefer to ask questions like, “Is it just?”, “Does it promote human excellence or debase human value?” In short, “Is it good?”

Cultural norms can also influence what is considered “mature” behaviour.

busybee said...

Richard said: I doubt very much that you can get a good definition of maturity. It is something elusive, like reputation or respect. It is a way of approaching life and the world... Cultural norms can also influence what is considered “mature” behaviour.

I agree with Richard on that, it's really a very relative term and means different thing to different people and at different contexts.

Imaturity in certain things may not be a bad thing afterall...

"Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults." (1 Corinthians 14:20)

Righteous said...

Thanks for your fruitful opinion on maturity.

I am agreed to almost every words in this entry which flashed a bright light across my mind about maturity and how to be mature.

Maturity is slowly born when one get into the real world and observes by himself on what the real world is.

Of course, principle of self-character must be hip hop as well.

Your maturity's entry truly enlighted me. Thank you.

Pet Fanatic said...

Richard:

Seriously, WWJD usually implies that we have search the answers in the bible rather than just rely on our own perceptions Without the revelation from the book itself actually.

An interesting observation, I had was that when I was young, someone once told me that when Jesus started his ministry, his earlier sermons were "the be-attitudes" which was like an instructional manual....then he changed his styles to tell parables after parables.

This then came about an explaination that he wanted to make it easier for people to understand through stories. This, is a mis-understanding of the word.

The Bible is a huge Jigsaw puzzle, only if you truely seek after God, and "chase" after him. Then you will read, re-read, then look back and forth through the Old and new testament, that where you will know what is the true will that he has.

Even, if you do use your own perceptions, Always remember that our God is a God of miracles, whom can turn even a wrong step, a stumbling block into a stepping stone.

he says it clearly here:

As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

Romans 9:33

What did Jesus do to stumble people?

he said "you will EAT of my FLESH and Drink of my BLOOD"...
and everyone thought Jesus had gone CRAZY....

Other verse is Ezekiel 3:20, Jeremiah 6:21 (NKJV)

God is so fun rite, purposely make us FALL DOWN....
hee hee....*inspired yet?*

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eisen said...

Age does comes with a little of maturity. COme think of it, it is through time, afterall, that we learn the right from the wrong, the good from the bad.

What distinct between 2 people are their mindset, other than the physical aspect, but we're talking about the intangible here, which there's no manner of 'grading' it. Nevertheless, it is what one learns that helped in the growth of maturity and how one applies that of his/her knowledge, which I feel, deems fit of his/her maturity.

What's done right or wrong is usually subjective, usually towards one's favour. So by having making a mistake onto others yet had self-gained, does it means a person is immature? I beg to differ.

Human, for thousands of years, had and is still afterall, a selfish creature. Every man is for himself. It is just to which degree he place that selfish thoughts.

Placing religion onto a man's maturity is not exactly a wise manner to guage as the person might just live off some laws that's taught, like the Pharisees, are they a mature bunch of people? I doubt so. They follow the laws blindly and set restrictions on themselves and put it onto others.

Jesus was trying to direct them to God, who 'was' their ultimate 'goal' for life. Yet, these Pharisees deluded themselves thinking of their ways was the right ways.

My point from all these rubbish is... The moment one thinks he's mature, he has fallen off the stool. No one can digitize maturity. Only through person's thoughts, expressed through actions, that others can see.

Of course, that actions should keep to minimum harm onto others yet achieved self-gain.

Righteous said...

Agreed and Disagreed with eisen.

>>Age does comes with a little of maturity. COme think of it, it is through time, afterall, that we learn the right from the wrong, the good from the bad.

There are many people with age 40 to 50+, and yet they behaved and reacted like children. Not I disagreed with you but it is totally wrong to judge maturity based on age.

>>What's done right or wrong is usually subjective, usually towards one's favour. So by having making a mistake onto others yet had self-gained, does it means a person is immature? I beg to differ.

Making a mistake should be admit and apologize. But some of them refused to do so and stick mindlessly to their massive ego, thinking that by doing so could save their pride but they are wrong.

>>Human, for thousands of years, had and is still afterall, a selfish creature. Every man is for himself. It is just to which degree he place that selfish thoughts.

You got the "Every man" wrong. I do met alot of kindness people here in Singapore. You may have and may not have seen those kind people risking their own lives and save others without a selfish thought, such as the 2004 Tsunami and 2003 Sars.

>>Jesus was trying to direct them to God, who 'was' their ultimate 'goal' for life. Yet, these Pharisees deluded themselves thinking of their ways was the right ways.

Some ways were right ways and some ways were wrong ways, it is what you judge it in different angle as either a free-thinker or a religious follower.

>>My point from all these rubbish is... The moment one thinks he's mature, he has fallen off the stool. No one can digitize maturity. Only through person's thoughts, expressed through actions, that others can see.

Action is more stronger and deadly than words, mature people rathan work with their brains and hands than on their mouths, boosting here and there but no results is given.

Pet Fanatic said...

Ehh... how come the owner so Quiet ah??...

Comments? Critisicism?

Dear Elvina....

For once, I'm quite surprise of the resonse from the topic.

NJS said...

Ha Elvina, your WWJD did attract some sermon-in-comment out of the blue!

Anyway maturity cannot be pretend. Either you got it or you don't period.

lancerlord said...

Your concept of maturity are not warped leh.

Before reading your post, I prepared "a huge spoonful of salt". After reading first few paragraphs, I threw away the salt. :)

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eisen said...

Dear Starlandliu

A couple of points to clarify...

>>Age does comes with a little of maturity. COme think of it, it is through time, afterall, that we learn the right from the wrong, the good from the bad.

(There are many people with age 40 to 50+, and yet they behaved and reacted like children. Not I disagreed with you but it is totally wrong to judge maturity based on age.)

Maturity does comes with a "LITTLE" with age... The fact that I used the word 'LITTLE" actually is in coherent to your comment. Not all ppl matures thru age but it does 'helps' in learning some crafts of life.

>>What's done right or wrong is usually subjective, usually towards one's favour. So by having making a mistake onto others yet had self-gained, does it means a person is immature? I beg to differ.

(Making a mistake should be admit and apologize. But some of them refused to do so and stick mindlessly to their massive ego, thinking that by doing so could save their pride but they are wrong.)

Do you apologise for all your mistakes? Each and every single one and to each and every person in person or one way or another? Period? [No hard feelings; ain't doing any personal attacks]

>>Human, for thousands of years, had and is still afterall, a selfish creature. Every man is for himself. It is just to which degree he place that selfish thoughts.

(You got the "Every man" wrong. I do met alot of kindness people here in Singapore. You may have and may not have seen those kind people risking their own lives and save others without a selfish thought, such as the 2004 Tsunami and 2003 Sars.)

It's a broad statement I'm making [with all due respect and salute to these kind helpers, I am very much in, with all my heart, in approval of their selfless act], but underneath the 'sacrificial' act, there's a layer of self-actualisation. Do you feel good helping others? It's a positive self gain. Period.

>>Jesus was trying to direct them to God, who 'was' their ultimate 'goal' for life. Yet, these Pharisees deluded themselves thinking of their ways was the right ways.

(Some ways were right ways and some ways were wrong ways, it is what you judge it in different angle as either a free-thinker or a religious follower.)

Well, if you r not a Christian, this probably does not apply to you. But if you are one, you'll probably agree with me on it that the Pharisees are not as 'mature' as they seems to be, although I admire the very fact that they 'know' the bible (then) very well... Literally.

>>My point from all these rubbish is... The moment one thinks he's mature, he has fallen off the stool. No one can digitize maturity. Only through person's thoughts, expressed through actions, that others can see.

(Action is more stronger and deadly than words, mature people rathan work with their brains and hands than on their mouths, boosting here and there but no results is given.)

I beg to differ actually. Sounds like I'm contridicting myself, but here it is: A kind word soothes the heart likewise an unkind word will pierce like a sword, leaving pain n scars which stay for years.

The 'action' refers to respond from within. Although the mind has the ability restraint itself from output its thoughts to action, it eventually will steers itself (the body's action) to its initial thought.

A 'kind' act might actually be looking for appraisal from others or to cover up sin committed. A hustler usually show kindess to hook u up in a scam. This is independantly from that of the kind act mentioned abouve. Period.

Ironically, a smart person uses brains n words, not hands, to coax people in to working for them. These people... are his hands. :)

FH2O said...

Maturity does not necessarily comes automatically with age or one's faith.

More so with awareness, understanding and empathy; irregardless of how young you may be and whatever you choose to believe. I've d good fortune to meet many young but highly matured people from all walks of life and religions. On the flip side I've encountered old and 'so-called' self-righteous religious but intolerant and immature people.

My 2 cents worth. ;)

Mickell said...

Maturity is not gauged by age. Maturity is the ability to handle responsibilities. An 80-year-old man can behave immaturely like an 8-old old by throwing tantrums and insisting on having things his way. While a mature 18 year-old boy can be responsible for doing well in his studies and help his mum take care of the his younger siblings after his father has died or walked out of the family.

Righteous said...

To eisen:

>>Ironically, a smart person uses brains n words, not hands, to coax people in to working for them. These people... are his hands. :)

You mean a smart brain to control stupid people and their hands? Good of you to said that!

One such example: Zhuge Liang.

Heard of him? If I need to explain him from head to toe would be too long. Please read the history of China on Three Kingdoms.

KuraKat said...

Well said Elvina. I am very impressed and blessed. =)