ma·tur·i·ty (m-ty r-t, -t r-, -ch r-) n. pl. ma·tur·i·ties. 1. a. The state or quality of being fully grown or developed. b. The state or quality of being mature.
To me, this definition is rather depthless. Despite describing a complex subject matter, it barely skims the surface of the profundity of the topic. What is emotional or cognitive maturity? Maturity can be crudely described as “the state or quality of being mature.” The question is; what exactly is maturity? Apparently, an individual is fully mature once he or she has reached the full potential of growth and development. Yet, does a person ever truly stop growing and developing? Does one fall into a near catatonic state at some point and resolve, “I have grown and developed. I feel I am finished with both. I shall no longer strive for maturation or growth. In fact, I will refuse to even let the natural synchronicities of life enact growth or development upon me. From this point forward I shall be static and immovable!”? Is this a conscious decision or does this quandary come about naturally? If there is indeed a group of people who possess this mentality, is there then not a contrasting group that holds the position of, “I shall never stop growing and developing. I refuse to let progress evade me! I will not allow myself to go through the rest of my like lacking purposeful advancement and I will stay fully alert and present in the Now.”?
So, factors dictate who is in each group? Is it possible to purposefully cultivate one of these mentalities? Contrastingly, is one’s approach toward growth and development solely dictated through life experiences (e.g. theory of behaviorism) and is it then unable to be altered be a conscientious decision to strive for fruition? If maturity comes exclusively through life experiences, then it is impossible for one to force maturity upon oneself. In this case, a person must wait for growth and development to transpire naturally. Personally, I think humans have the capability to incite self-growth. Providing maturity can be cultivated within a person, what must a person do to ensure that this action transpires? I suggest that there is not a singular route a person should take, but many potential means to this continual growth…
I believe it is possible for an individual to be figuratively carried on the backs of those surrounding him and never fully internalize growth or development. While some legitimate progression may ensue – simply by being surrounded by those with a higher level of development – I question how much a person is genuinely influenced if he or she does not internally adopt the higher level of maturation. In these cases, it may appear that full development and growth has occurred, but how is one to determine authentic maturation from a [possibly unintentional] façade of complete development? Is it possible that one could simply mirror the maturation of others?
Can it be that maturity in its entirety is simply a byproduct of internalizing the belief that growth and development should be a constant, interminable part of life that one must constantly work to cultivate? Friends, I hope to glean knowledge from your words and solace from your wisdom. Think deeply about your own growth and development. Is it stagnant and resistant to progress? If so, consider what you can do to ensure that you foster continuous growth and development within your own life. In fact, I request that you take this even a step further and contemplate how you can inspire growth and development in the lives of others so that they may be aided on the boundless path of maturation.