My friend Vijay and I always exchange notes on what we have read from Sunday newspapers. Our favourite paper being Times of India (minus its political coverage). Both of us have been reading Times since the sixties. Vijay asked me if I have read a blog by Vinita Dawra Nangia, from “O Zone” titled “What Does It Mean to be Mature”. I am giving the link for the same below.
As luck would have it, I was reading the same. I jokingly replied to Vijay that to become mature, one should become Admin of a WhatsApp group. Ours is a group oldies from COEP, Pune who became engineers in 1971. We are a crowd of reasonably successful engineers and have done various things in life. From a group of 400, at least 10% are active, and balance are partially active to passive! We are in this group, I have secretly named our group as Cartoon Network. On this group, we have friends from various levels of maturity. Some are extremely mature, and some have remained “a”mature! (Amateur!!)
My take on maturity is
A person who has self-belief so strong that he/she can accept his/her own mistakes, if required openly, is open to a different viewpoint of others, willing to accept totally new viewpoint or direction, and still show as if he/she was saying the same thing though something opposite was being agreed!
I will try to explain my definition in small segments.
Owning a mistake
This is the biggest and the strongest trait of maturity. We all make mistakes in our lives, and up to an extent we keep on justifying them. Justifying till proven as a mistake, (innocent till proven guilty) is also maturity of owning what you said or did! But at some stage when we know that it is a mistake, the individual is mature and magnanimous enough to accept it openly. By openly accepting error is to show your acceptance to your friends and colleagues, who may also follow the example set by you, for the betterment of whatever we are doing.
Being open to a different viewpoints
GOD has given us a brain that really has no limits. We humans will have totally different views, up to 360 degrees on the same subject. In cricketing parlance, we know that a batsman will be bold, caught out, LBW, and what have you on a specific ball. But a Sachin Tendulkar will hit the same ball for a six at Cover, and yes Virat Kohli now will hit for a six over mid-wicket! If we keep on arguing that such and such ball should be played carefully, is not using your brain fully. By remaining in your own cocoon, one’s growth may get stunted. The mature person will always have mature ideas but is mature enough to embrace someone else’s better ideas with open arms.
After embracing new idea take it forward with the same zeal as your own thoughts
Maturity of a person is seen when he/she takes forward a new idea brought forward by someone else as if it’s his/her own idea. In short, the individual is a total team player! This situation does come up daily from the smallest of issues, like which Ice cream to eat, to which generator should be purchased for an organisation. Once a consensus is reached mature person will not even show that there were different opinions. In an organisation, a society or even in the family, an individual cannot have his own agenda. The individual agenda can cause disharmony and discontent.
There are various ways of looking at maturity. Some say that with age, people become mature, but it is definitely not so. Age has nothing to do with maturity. Maturity can definitely be acquired, but I feel that persons with a very big Ego can never become mature. This is obvious as it has been explained above. Let me share an experience from our WhatsApp group. One of our friends is the CEO of an organisation. When there were discussions on the group, our friend would just not budge. He would stick to his viewpoint, always. In fact, he would not follow basic rules formed to run the group. His behaviour we realised is a typical immaturity caused by a large size EGO. But we were all friends and obviously equals. We took a long time to bring him in line with others!
Friends let me know your thoughts on maturity and don’t worry, I am matured and open enough to take your suggestions. I hope it shows my maturity!!
I am also giving below some definitions of maturity shared by Vinita
- “Maturity is not when we start speaking big things; it is when we start understanding small things.”
- “I used to walk into a room full of people and wonder if they liked me… now I look around and wonder if I like them.”
- “Maturity comes when you stop making excuses and start making changes.”
- “Maturity is the capacity to endure uncertainty.”
- “Maturity begins when we are content to feel we’re right about something, without feeling the necessity to prove someone else is wrong.”