‘When he becomes older, he will act maturely’, ‘She behaves in a childish way. Hope she is matured enough to handle life’, ‘At this age, you are supposed to handle your life in a matured way’.
Yes! We have all grown up listening to these clichéd conversations. Personally, I have experienced many people using such statements, in their wisdom of affection for their loved ones. Sometimes, even I tend to utter such words. Maybe consciously or unconsciously, our minds are wired to those thoughts after years of constant hearing of the same. The link between the age of a person and their behavior are to assess the maturity level of the person. Is the society, the thought process and the approach of behaving with an individual entangled between the age and maturity level of an individual? Is age and maturity, the factors influencing the relationship dynamics?
While I ponder over these thoughts, in my tiny little mind, I realize an instant in my life which happened during my college days. I met a teenage girl, working at a cancer research center as an office executive, helping with the daily chores and small activities such as cleaning the office and desk, taking care of the food facility, bathroom cleaning etc., in the office. After lots of observation of her quick, clean and hygienic way of working, I wished to speak to her.
An hour long, was about her dream of joining the Civil Services of India, for which she is saving one rupee every day. Her earnings go into running the family, which also includes the income of her parents, who earn through daily wages of construction work. Against all the odds, she goes to a government school and in the evening she comes to work, pursues her dream in the light of the sky and stars. No fascinations of dresses, toys or a luxurious life.
All that she wanted was a book to study to change her life, as well as the life of thousand others.
As I write about this small, yet matured individual, I wish to talk about a person, who hails from a strong family background, possessing an education qualification worthy of obtaining a job, a highly intellectual and intelligent brain and a decent personality. However, his attitude and his arrogance ruined the life of his family members. In both the instances, I doubt the link between the age and maturity level of the individual. Many scientific studies have proven the link these two factors. However, my mind always questions this hypothesis.
Growing old is very easy. Keep having birthdays and you reach your old age. Growing in Maturity is totally a different approach than growing old. It’s like looking at the aging through new eyes. It requires a cautious effort of work and tuning of thoughts in an appropriate way. All of us will grow old, yet only a few can grow old with maturity. My two instances of life, amidst the thousands, reveals there is no link between age and maturity level of an individual. A young girl behaved perfectly understanding the conditions of a family and vice versa in the next instant.
Maturity is one’s choice of acting towards the responsibilities of life. Maturity doesn’t resemble on age because, some children/ teenagers may be more mature than some adults, this is because they understand the world differently and have probably had more experience in the hard times at a young age.
Edwin Louis Cole once suggested, “Being a male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of choice.” He couldn’t have been more accurate. A childish behavior in the most fun full way must always be appreciated. Being a child at heart is a trait, which not many possess. If you see anyone being childish and playful, don’t come to conclusions about their maturity level, representing their age. Age is a mere number, which doesn’t reflect a person’s character. Watch your words, especially, when you are handling children.