Are you mature yet?
If you are above 18, don’t ignore this. Chances are, you are more immature than the kid next door. It’s our experiences that determine if we have crossed that mental barrier yet, and even though experience increases with age, it’s pretty fluid. That’s because maturity involves learning from our experiences which sadly, a few people do.
We tend to think that every great thing in life happens with a lot of fanfare. It couldn’t be less true.
The first time you saw your special someone, remember? No violins rang out, butterflies didn’t flit and nobody announced on a mike “Person X here is in LOOOVE!”
Have you ever experienced hate?
Rhetorical question. I know you have, it’s a part of humanity. But what comes after hate is acceptance and an author once wrote
…I wondered if that’s how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering it’s things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.
The same goes for maturity but there, a new consciousness enters your thoughts. The realization that some time ago you wouldn’t have done a particular thing, which now you think is ‘mature behaviour’. You’d expect maturity to notify you when it comes. A status update at the least, it is after all an occasion to celebrate.
But it doesn’t. The onus to know whether you are mature or not, lies with you. It lies not in wizened beards or in your driver’s licence. It’s not when you are legally qualified to drink that you become mature. It’s when you are out one night partying and you see all your friends getting wasted and you decide not to drink so that others can get home safely, that you become mature.
But the biggest test of maturity is when you can decide whether you are mature or not, in an unbiased manner.
Sounds kooky? Let me explain. But first, a detour.
What is maturity?
I have a definition for it. I will personally become mature the day I can, after procrastinating on some work for three months and then miraculously pulling it off, say to myself that my actions were horrible and immature rather than patting myself for pulling it off.
You can have another definition for it. The point of maturity is self-understanding. It’s your universe, so it’s your rules. You make your rules after understanding the world around you, and when you can follow those rules, presto! You are a kid no more. So easy, right?
But wait. Didn’t I mention a word ‘unbiased’? What’s that doing here?
Our analysis of a situation is what helps us to determine whether our actions were mature or not. If you think judging yourself is easy, you are deluded. It’s like being the victim, accused and the judge, all that the same time. No easy pass, this.
The results of our actions can very easily cause a bias. If you behave immaturely yet it all goes well, it’s very hard to tell your brain to stop the frat party and realize what you’ve done, and analyze it so that it’s not repeated. Again, it’s no joke. I have a choicer name for it: Thought Chemotherapy. You have to purge the wrong thoughts, and make sure you don’t hit the right thoughts. This, while all the thoughts are running amok. Sounds eerily like a videogame description, but I digress.
You can’t ask anyone else to do this for you because they wouldn’t be free of bias either. Their view of you as a person can easily colour their thoughts and hence their judgement about you and your maturity. Also, what one person thinks as mature might not be the same for you. It’s a mare’s nest out here.
Are there any shortcuts, you ask? No. There aren’t. No cheat sheets. It’s all trial and error, folks.
How to figure it all out, you ask? Well, live.
Figuring this out is life, isn’t it? Live, make mistakes, learn. And finally one day, while going home from office and thinking about your day, you’ll realise that you could have broken a rule but you didn’t. You stood by it. Congratulations! But still, no violins will ring out.