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Question: What is maturity?

Chacham (981) writes | more than 10 years ago

User Journal 6

There is a physical maturity that can be measured. What about mental maturity. When is a person "mature"?

There is a physical maturity that can be measured. What about mental maturity. When is a person "mature"?

I've decided on one approach. That is, that people are often reacting with situations. When people react, they sometimes do what they want to do, and other times what the situation calls for, regardless of their own preferences. My guess is, that when people do the latter, they are mature. And the fully mature person will never let personal preference get in the way of a decision, unless there is more than one solution, and both are equally good.

6 comments

Garbage (1)

Acidic_Diarrhea (641390) | more than 10 years ago | (#7377663)

A person making a decision shouldn't let personal preference get in the way? Oh, like what food to eat or what car to buy or what house to buy? We wouldn't want personal preference getting in the way of those decisions, now would we?

You've made your deep thought so overly generic and non-specific that it's meaningless.

Re:Garbage (1)

Cyberdyne (104305) | more than 10 years ago | (#7378185)

A person making a decision shouldn't let personal preference get in the way? Oh, like what food to eat or what car to buy or what house to buy? We wouldn't want personal preference getting in the way of those decisions, now would we?

Of course not - how could we have a functioning command economy otherwise?! (Somehow, I doubt this is what he had in mind...)

You've made your deep thought so overly generic and non-specific that it's meaningless.

There are deep thoughts, and then there are regular thoughts which sank. This one hit crush depth...

Interesting question (1)

Trolling4Dollars (627073) | more than 10 years ago | (#7377766)

There is also the issue of understanding certain concepts which affect a person's reasoning. Many would argue that the understanding of these concepts is simply experience and that it comes gradually with time. However, there are some people who appear to be more mentally "mature" than others at a different point in time. And still others who are perceieved as never having matured.

An example:

When you are five years old, you only have five years of life with which to measure other spans of time. At that age, 40-50 years seems an incredibly long period of time. Additionally, this also skews your perception of the passage of time at every level. If you are told to sit still for the next hour while something very boring is happening (still age five), even that hour seems incredibly long. Weeks, months and years are all very long periods of time to a five year old.

However, when you reach say... age 16, things begin to normalize a bit. You may get a part-time job somewhere only working 4-6 hours an evening after school. Even if the job bores you, in general most people can stay in the one place or do that repetitve task for the 4-6 hours. Ask this of a five year old and it's nearly impossible for most to accomplish. But most 16 years olds can do this. (There is the issue of personal gain: income but we'll ignore that for now)

When you reach 18 years of age and are possibly college bound, you are faced with four years of school. You KNOW what the previous four years of school felt like and you (logically) expect the next four years to feel the same. And.. while you are in the midst of it, it may feel somewhat similar. But by the time you are done, you look back and perhaps feel that it was actually a littel faster than you would have liked.

Finally you reach 25 (that "quarter century" club moment) and you suddenly have a new perspective (if you've begun to grasp the time ratio concept). You've been out of college for 1-3 years and time is beginning to move aliong a lot faster than before. Someone tells you that you have an assignment that will take two years to complete on the job. If you had been given this task at 10-15 years of age, again, the time would have seemed to be unrealistic. But at 25, you smile and take on the task whether you really care to or not. It's your job.

Perhaps once you reach your late 20s or early 30s, you begin to notice, that a decade doesn't seem that long ago. You find yourself exclaiming that even though you are 28, your senior year in high school is still pretty fresh in your mind. Or... at 32, you are astonished to realize that your college antics actually took place ten years before.

So... what's happening here? Your personal time yardstick is growing. Again at age five, a decade would seem to be a half a century since it is TWICE your current lifetime. However, at age 30, a decade is only 1/3 your current lifespan. I know that for me (I'm 33), the past 10 years flew by much faster than the ten years it took to get to age 23. I also no longer feel like a century is all that long anymore. And I would hazard to guess that while 50 is still 17 years away for me. It's going to feel more like a little less than a decade did when I was in my twenties. It gives new meaning to the tired old phrase "life is short".

I think this also explains the phenomena of the 16 year old who tells the 21 year old "my god you're OLD!" when they ask how old the 21 year old is. (Personal experience on that one). I think it also may point to a certain level of mental maturity (coming back to the topic) that is required to understand this concept. I have a friend who is only a year yound than me and he feels "old". His life has been largely the extended 16 year old lifestyle (live off of mummy and daddy while taking copious amounts of drugs and getting in legal trouble a few times.) variety. I think his maturing experience happened when he finally wound up in jail for a year. However, he still expressed shock and amazement in knowing that we are in our 30s and the my wife is approaching 40. Then he always says, "God we're old". It's funny because I don't feel the same way. I acknowledge that I'm not a 20 something anymore and that my 20 something behavior is no longer appropriate. Whereas, he realizes this to, but sees it in the negative as just a sign of being old and worthless. I think that is just another element of mental maturity. Truth be told, excepting the few extra aches I get now compared to my 20s, I don't feel much different from 17 physically. But mentally, my mind grasps many more complex concepts than it did when I was 17. When I was 17... it was a very bad year... ;P

Re:Interesting question (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7378128)

Thanx. That's quite interesting.

Re:Interesting question (1)

Trolling4Dollars (627073) | more than 10 years ago | (#7378302)

One more note on what I was saying up above. A lot of the time perception is largely personal. Everyone is going to have variations on that front. However, *I* think that true mental maturity is achieved when an individual becomes fully aware of the fact that personal perceptions are not universal constants. This is probably the hardest thing for most human beings to do. It's human nature to percieve the world through our own filter and is well nigh impossible to do otherwise. This is why we have people who argue constantly over how their way is the "right" way. They fail to see that their way may not work for someone else. A third party may see this, but this is not due to maturity, it is a function of being a third party. So... I would conclude that true maturity occurs when one can look at the world and bypass their personal filter. This is probably the state that the eastern philosophers intimate as enlightenment. I am not even close to this stage and may never reach it as I am certain that very few humans do.

Re:Interesting question (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 10 years ago | (#7378811)

true mental maturity is achieved when an individual becomes fully aware of the fact that personal perceptions are not universal constants....true maturity occurs when one can look at the world and bypass their personal filter.

And then act in accordance with what is best for the situtation, instead of what is best for them. In that, i think we agree. :)
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