What does it mean to be mature? Across different cultures specific traits are attached to the idea of what becoming and being an adult is; some of these are more vivid then others, yet all require individuals to follow customary action. The behaviour a person displays in their community frequently reflects their standing within it, and recurrently it is those the society holds in high regard people intend to mirror. Since the development of agriculture and economics the individuals typically held in greatest esteem were those with the most capital, operating with impunity as long as they had the material to stitch any inflicted gash.
As people have tried to emulate the wealthy integrity has often been neglected, the notion of maturity not centred on morality but the power invoked by acquisition. A character within us enables a rectitude refresher; seeing the world with inquisitive eyes, our inner child doesn’t follow material but curiosity and intuition, realigning us with the commonly neglected youthful self.
Who’s Really Mature?
When we are children what’s desired above all else is to become a “grown-up”, even though majority of the day is taken up by play and everything is provided for us, all we want is to do whatever we want whenever we want. Unfortunately, we come to realize as we grow older that not everything is possible, yet simultaneously we are in control of all our actions and are, as Sartre put it, “Condemned to be free”.
An individual has to learn how they’ll operate in society and their family, friends, schooling and experiences help decipher this. Humans are social creatures and we look towards others for guidance in times of adversity, using reverenced advice and action as a blueprint for our own personal construction.
The most common traits of maturity as seen by contemporary society is someone who is employed and living out of their parents grasp with their own place, possessions and relationships. What’s rarely contemplated is these are merely signs of growing older and not of maturing, and in different communities there are better barometers of being a mature human.
One may have ample material and satisfies the societal notion of successful, but have they been able to cultivate self-control? Can they not stand the thought of spending any time alone? Do they need to gossip to make themselves feel adequate? Do they boast to others of their achievements? Can they blame themselves when they have chosen erroneously?
In communities people look towards the heroes celebrated by the collective, currently those hoarding the most have the most clout and people strive to replicate tangible rewards at the unknown expense of their actual maturation.
Reigniting The Wonder Of Existence
In order to learn from one’s past it cannot be forgotten, rather examined and taken onward as a backdrop for future endeavours. A lot of the idea of maturity in modern society means one is encouraged to drop all their tendencies toward behaviours considered childish, unless they are comparable to those auspicious for material acquisition such as greed and stubbornness.
Instead of buying into this version of an adult, it can be postulated that the most mature among us are those who can intentionally act immaturely when it’s applicable and to also become astute when required, unison between the inner-child and the grown adult reflected in a capable disposition.
What’s beautiful about acting appropriately immature is the impulse towards intuition, to feel and act on whims, to let thought and instinct of the inner world be performed in the external. Take the example of people observing an adult climbing a tree; most will likely see this as an inappropriate and puerile activity, but to the individual in the tree the experience is engaging, they are partaking in life and feel themselves literally intertwined with nature.
Being close with our inner child helps us grasp the times when we should lose ourselves to emotion and when to keep it together, it enables us to feel content about expressing sentiments rather than allowing them to fester our inner sanctum.
Without being in contact with the youthful self one’s emotional intelligence will remain underdeveloped, if they unable to recognize and get the inner child in check it will create capricious circumstances where control of the self is overridden by anger and despair.
Being able to suitably flirt between maturity and immaturity invokes a sense of novelty into life, to see the world with the awe-inspired eyes of a child allows one to temporarily drop the intensity and expectation of adult life and reignite it with wonder of existence.
What really makes a capable “grown-up” in the modern world; is it the job one has, materials they retain and the people they command, or is it reaching a state of equanimity stemming from kinship with the inner child? One would suggest it’s a subjective question and can only be answered from the angle of one’s mentality, however, those who’ve stopped communication with their inner child lose the sense of marvel in the human experience.
As we age we adapt and change to the circumstances bestowed on our path, each new obstacle peeling away a layer of our personality giving us deeper observation of ourselves. Remembering the many layers of the former self keeps the recollection of one’s change in mind, understanding how one got to their current audit is propitious to helping them arrive fittingly to their next.
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