You may wonder why this topic
is included as a ‘means to loving more’. Isn’t maturity old age?
As in ‘the large oak tree is mature’? Or “He is maturing
gracefully” … becoming an old geezer without complaining. But
you also hear “She is mature beyond her years”. What does this
mean? Teresa is twelve but acts thirty. Huh? Is this a good
thing? Has Teresa abandoned childhood too early? Not playing
with her dolls anymore. Asking questions about the state of the
world, the inequities, injustices. Mmm. Some young people are
not content with just the mundane. They are concerned with more
profound pursuits. Could this be the perennial mindset of the
naïve? A penchant for wanting to change the world? Or much
needed youthful honesty and enthusiasm being directed towards
soluble problems? A renewal of values eschewed by the jaded,
cherished by people who care? Mmm again. Ponder, ponder.
“Life’s travails are incessant” you say. “There will always be
pain and suffering” … brought on by nature’s assaults and human
degradation, predation. True. But should we not rail against
these? Find solutions? Demand changes? And isn’t it helpful to
know what your resources are in dealing with the many daunting
infirmities, inequities … evident everywhere … even personally?
So … where are we with maturity? How does maturation tie into
these grandiose yearnings? Consider: In order to deal
effectively with solving problems you must educate yourself.
This takes some time … and experience. Of course, everyone
progresses at his or her own pace. But however long it takes,
you gradually develop inner resources to cope with life’s many
challenges. You mature in a variety of ways.
Knowing yourself is important … never ending personal
assessments. Your strengths and weaknesses, your talents and
ineptitudes, your desires and fears: These inform your judgment
as to what you should pursue. Rather foolish to become a
mountain climber when heights make you dizzy and your limbs
ignore your entreaties. The sooner you ‘grasp’ YOUR reality,
both physically and psychologically, the easier it is to set
attainable goals. You can easily waste time pursuing a grandiose
scheme, becoming a ‘super’ salesperson for example, while
ignoring serious impediments: Your honesty and humility.
Other areas of maturation that are vital for
‘self-actualization’ and self-improvement: Finding ways to
sustain a positive attitude, accepting and ‘managing’ your
emotions, becoming more sensitive to others, ‘opening your mind’
to new experiences … taste for food, appreciation of art. You
may spend years searching for what truly satisfies you,
‘completes’ you. How long must you live before you find inner
peace and contentment??
Your outlook on life and those ‘passing through your radar’ will
change … sometimes gradually … religion and its acolytes for
example … and occasionally with a jolt … a violent temper
unleashing vitriol: This can alter your opinion of someone
instantly. As you change you develop values and the ‘strength of
character’ to rely on them … to uphold them. Kindness and
considerateness of others, all others … this is part of a mature
accepting attitude that you probably must ‘work on’. Too easy to
denigrate ‘the lesser’ folks. You enjoy feeling superior.
Inflating ego is enjoyable.
Awareness and appreciation of what you encounter daily is
another form of maturation. It is so easy to become habituated
with an infantile self-centered complacency: You know enough,
you have ‘arrived’, you are safe and comfy in your ‘little box’.
Oh boy, how difficult is it going to be to acquire some wisdom
with this attitude?? To be receptive and take the opportunities
In a society that reveres youth, it is a formidable challenge to
instill a respect for the ‘wise old person’. With ‘vanity
obsessions’ and trivial pursuits it is no wonder that much of
the Western World mucks ‘round ‘tepid pools’ spawning crass
ineptitude in the guise of expediency and worthy pleasures.
Oblivion awaits such folly. The only hope: Grasping the reality
of what you are and what you are about … to begin MATURING as a
society. Lotsa luck!!
RETURN TO MATURITY DEFINITIONS
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