Maturity is becoming an adult. A fruit goes through a ripening phase, and when this phase is over it can be eaten. Likewise for a child, who experiences a period of maturation until an age when he becomes a young adult, after having been an old child.
Maturity is absolutely essential for assuming responsibility and living a full adult life. The observation of the immaturity of some students, even of some young professionals, should lead us to reflect on the best way to make the boys and girls entrusted to us grow. Maturity is not acquired over time, it is acquired by effort and by circumstances. It is an illusion to believe that an 18-year-old boy who is not mature will be 20 years old, simply by the effect of time. A fruit tree in cold regions needs a greenhouse to grow its fruit, otherwise, even after spending a lot of time, they will not ripen. For men, it’s exactly the same.
Immaturity has several harmful consequences.
On a professional level, this leads to an unceasingly unresolved attitude, the inability to keep one’s objectives, to make complete and long studies, to choose a job. The immature person flutters from one formation to another, without being able to choose and decide.
At the social level, immaturity manifests itself by incomprehension of contemporary issues, and incomprehension of world events, be it international relations, economic and cultural situations. The immature still lives in the world of childhood and finds it very difficult to relate to reality and its challenges.
At the behavioral level, the immature shows great weakness towards all the temptations and the spirit of the world. This can be manifested by excessive consumption of alcohol, or even by the use of drugs and narcotics, by unstable emotional behavior. Through this behavior, the immature seeks to make others believe and to persuade himself, that he is a mature man, when he is in reality incapable of showing strength and temperance, by virtue of maturity. Immaturity also leads to a rejection of faith.
How to detect immaturity.
In addition to the elements that we have seen above, other aspects allow us to identify the immaturity of a person, immaturity which may be more or less strong.
- Immaturity is first seen in a dress. For a boy, there is an age when it is normal to give up children’s clothes to put on those of the mature man. The garment is not only a symbol or a social norm, but it is also a reflection of the person’s state of mind. Wearing sneakers and T-shirts, outside of sporting activity, is an outward sign of inner immaturity. The same goes for clothes with overly colorful colors or childish patterns. In adults this can be a sign of praiseworthy fantasy, in young adults, it marks rather the presence of immaturity.
- Immaturity is also visible in leisure activities. Reading fantasy books, or manga, watching films disconnected from reality (science fiction, cartoons), playing video games or outdoor activities not adapted to age (making cabins or great games is excellent when you are 10, it is less so when you are 18), are also signs of immaturity. Of course, it depends on the dose at which the activity is practiced. Playing a video game once in a while can be helpful for relaxation. But in general, this is the mark of a rejection of the real and of refuge in the virtual in order not to face the world as it is, often because the person does not know how to face it.
- Immaturity is finally visible in conversations. Ignorance of basic current events, including political issues, ignorance of economic or diplomatic issues, are signs of immaturity. A person will obviously be able to have varied tastes and prefer one subject to another, but each person is called to be a citizen of his country, which supposes a minimum of knowledge of the political life of this one. It is also a sign of selfishness, experienced by a person who is withdrawn and who does not try to understand others. As Pius XI remarked, “Politics is the supreme stage of charity”. Playing politics does not mean being registered in a political party, but keeping oneself informed about the affairs of one’s country, and the affairs of the world.
How to ripen?
Time does not ripen, any more than prohibitions. We can prohibit the use of alcoholic drinks, or dating girls, it only takes time and leads either to puritanism or to debauchery. The only solution is education. Maturity education has to be done very early, it goes on for a lifetime. If we take the elements that we analyzed previously we can identify different ways of educating to be mature.
- First, develop a sense of work and effort. Teach children to finish what they started, to go through with it. Also, do not undertake work that you cannot afford to complete.
- Next, develop a sense of virtues, educate intemperance, know why we do things, and not do them by simple automatisms – especially in matters of faith, and even in school work.
- Ask yourself what are the extra-curricular activities that we practice, how they mature, the qualities and virtues that they allow to acquire.
- Have a dress appropriate for your age.
- Take an interest in the contemporary world, visit exhibitions, seek to cultivate oneself. Wanting to progress personally, even if this contradicts the environment