The True Mark of Maturity

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The true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you
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The true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back.

Judging one’s maturity is not as easy as judging the ripeness of a fruit. Maturity comes in many forms and we have encountered people whom we deem mature based on their looks, demeanour, and accomplishments, but turn out to be emotionally or socially immature. That is because real maturity often manifests itself in dire situations, in conditions that put an immature person an inch away from regressing.

In Robert Keegan’s Theory of Maturity, he postulated that people are initially embedded in their own subjective perspective. That means we start off as indifferent to other people’s feelings and existence as we still try to make sense of our own. The more we progress into the stages, the more we get to see ourselves from another perspective other than our own. The goal therefore is to break free from our subjective perspective and develop an objective awareness of ourselves and other people.

When a person reaches the Interpersonal period, he begins to understand that the world is shared by other people. This realization would encourage him to respect and appreciate the otherness of other people, expanding his perspectives at the same time. An interpersonal child becomes aware of other people’s needs.

It’s hard to antagonize people when we’ve understood their perspectives and where they’re coming from. When we reach the highest point of social maturity, it becomes unnecessary and a waste of time to take things personally and hold a grudge. Imagine a world of socially-matured people!


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