Dr Jozelle Miller
July 31, 2018
Understanding Maturity

When we speak of maturity, we speak of the ability to respond to the environment in an appropriate manner. Maturity also encompasses being aware of the correct time and place to behave and knowing when to act, according to the circumstances and the culture of the society one lives in.

So what are the marks of maturity? We all love it when we see a young person who carries him or herself well and shows signs of being mature. He or she interacts with adults in an adult manner. It is indeed definitely refreshing and welcoming to see young people expressing themselves maturely and wisely, and I would like to present a list of what I consider to be the marks of maturity.

1. A mature person is able to keep long-term commitments.

One key signal of maturity is the ability to delay gratification. Part of this means a student is able to keep commitments even when they are no longer new or novel. They can commit to continue doing what is right even when they don’t feel like it.

2. A mature person is unshaken by flattery or criticism.

As people mature, they sooner or later understand that nothing is as good as it seems and nothing is as bad as it seems. Mature people can receive compliments or criticism without letting it ruin them or sway them into a distorted view of themselves. They are secure in their identity.

3. A mature person possesses a spirit of humility.

Humility parallels maturity. Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less. Mature people aren’t consumed with drawing attention to themselves. They see how others have contributed to their success and can even sincerely give honour to their Creator who gave them the talent. This is the opposite of arrogance.

4. A mature person’s decisions are based on character not feelings.

Mature people, students or adults, live by values. They have principles that guide their decisions. They are able to progress beyond merely reacting to life’s options and be proactive as they live their life. Their character is master over their emotions.

5. A mature person expresses gratitude consistently.

I have found the more I mature, the more grateful I am, for both big and little things. Immature children presume they deserve everything good that happens to them. Mature people see the big picture and realize how good they have it, compared to most of the world’s population.

6. A mature person knows how to prioritize others before themselves.

A wise man once said: A mature person is one whose agenda revolves around others, not self. Certainly this can go to an extreme and be unhealthy, but I believe a pathway out of childishness is getting past your own desires and beginning to live to meet the needs of others less fortunate.

7. A mature person seeks wisdom before acting.

Finally, a mature person is teachable. He or she doesn’t presume they have all the answers. The wiser they get the more they realize they need more wisdom. They’re not ashamed of seeking counsel from adults (teachers, parents) or from other sources. Only the wise seeks wisdom.

“Maturity is the ability to think, speak and act your feelings within the bounds of dignity. The measure of your maturity is how spiritual you become during the midst of your frustrations,” Samuel Ullman.