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The maturity debate...

AN old story goes of two friends, one a focused and methodical individual, the other a happy-go-lucky, creative being.

A discussion once ensued pertaining to the word maturity where the former propagated an authoritative view - believing firmly that it revolved around age - even immodestly proclaiming himself as an assured matured being.

The latter differing, interpreting the word maturity as subjective, owing to one's opinion and behaviour.

The story goes that one fine day a debate transpired between the two resulting in the former losing his bearings, showering expletives and even making an obscene gesture to the latter friend.

The self-professed authority on maturity seemed a sad picture of immaturity.

Meanwhile, the friend on the receiving end played it calmly with a wry smile, making his point clear.

The word maturity is often used in our day to day conversation without really understanding its true meaning.

Physical appearance and age often appears the yardstick in labelling maturity - the reason being years and experience begets wisdom and insight but it is not often true.

There is lack of emotional maturity in many human beings and this is different from physical maturity.

Take Wayne Rooney, for example.

The immensely talented football player has been recently reprimanded for his misconduct with his teammates and personal life.

His immaturity has prompted the English Media to ask Rooney to look up to cricketer Sachin Tendulkar as a role model.

Tendulkar has balanced career and personal life with solid maturity, both physical and emotional in his 21-year career facing immeasurable pressure and shouldering expectations from the millions in India.

Putting maturity under the microscope, it boils down to composure and understanding.

It is about patience and perseverance. It is being responsible and accountable for one's actions.

It is about controlling one's anger in spite of the circumstances that lead one to it.

It hinges on a person's resolve, steadfastness and self-denial and ultimately is about balancing the physical, spiritual and emotional self.

As a civilisation, we still have a long way to go on the maturity front.

Our actions through wars, global warming, racism, terrorism, slavery or even our daily squabbles, etc. is testimony to our inability to understand the subject.

And it may take a few more centuries to understand ourselves and our actions with objectivity.

The old AA prayer comes to mind when one thinks about the subject - maturity is the art of living in peace with that which we cannot change, the courage to change that which should be changed - and the wisdom to know the difference.

Copyright 2009 Gulf Daily News

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Nov 23, 2010
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