What is maturity? One might say it is the result of having grown or developed to what you might describe as a defined functional level.
In that sense, many animals seem to mature very quickly in their physical capacities with no help from anyone. Insects, rabbits, even newborn horses, while not mature, are walking around on their spindly legs minutes after birth.
Human beings, on the other hand, mature rather gradually in their physical capacities, with lots of help from Mom and Dad. But emotional maturity is quite a different matter.
In terms of human emotional maturity, I have met teenagers who think and act like experienced and wise adults, and I have met seniors who think and act like spoiled kids. I’m sure you have also seen everything in between. Some high IQ, intellectually advanced individuals seem to be somewhat backward on the emotional level, and vice versa.
Do you have a way of defining, assessing, or measuring emotional/spiritual maturity?
Can you name a person you regard as having attained an exceptional level of emotional maturity? What would you say are the primary differences between that person and the rest of us?
Generally speaking, from a ‘bird’s eye’ perspective, how do you think we humans are doing on the emotional maturity question?
How has this been affecting society? History?
Can the average perceived level of adult maturity be what God was aiming for?
What, if anything, might be done about it?
Please share your thoughts below.
To me, maturity comes when one takes responsibility for everything that happens to them, whether caused by them or not. Bad childhood? A mature person recognizes, forgives, and takes the steps to overcome their own shortcoming.
The NEXT step, and one that takes a parental heart, is to take responsibility not only for yourself, but for those around you.
I think the “parental heart” aspect needs to be scrutinized more. Some people exercise responsibility, even for others, but out of duty and social norms. The maturity of heart is clearly the next step, I agree. It’s where we need to go. It will need a lot of intentional focus.
I totally agree.
I don’t appreciate being told that I act like a spoiled brat.
Certainly that observation would not apply to you. No reason to take it personally. I said, “I have met seniors…” I did not say “all seniors.” However, if everyone were mature in heart and mind, then the world should be a great place to live. Jesus said we were children of the Devil. Of course, you could say he was only speaking to a few people in front on him and not to us, but who knows how little or much we might have in common with them? Rev. Moon said similar things, as do most major religious traditions. Not everyone appreciates being told that kind of thing. If I tell my granddaughter that she is a princess while she is tormenting her brothers and sisters, then I may be pointing her toward a criminal life. Humility and self-reflection are healthy things. I have not met anyone yet who has… Read more »
You have to separate maturity from likeability and goodness (unfortunately!). But I would say: (1) Self-awareness; (2) Self-control; (3) Ability to perceive what others are thinking from their behavior.
Can you elaborate on your point? Not sure how it relates to the topic. Thanks so much.
Answering your question #1. I agree with Carol (below) that we need to answer question #1 before tackling the others.
I don’t think we can answer the last 5 questions until first giving an answer to the first question. Without a standard to measure emotional maturity against, we can’t really determine a “perceived level” of attainment, who has come close to attaining it or how to improve it.