Monday, December 22, 2008

How do you define maturity?

I think maturity is an extremely misunderstood topic. How do you define maturity? Which of the following would you consider more mature?

Girl 1: She is a model student. Her teachers love her because she always behaves in class, does her work, and does well on tests. She takes notes in all her classes. Her loose leaf is always perfectly neat, with all her papers exactly in place. Her behavior in school is impeccable. She is quiet and refined, and keeps to herself.

Girl 2: She is a less than perfect student. Her teachers find themselves gritting their teeth when they think of her. She often falls asleep in class. Her teachers can't figure out why, despite being quite smart, she is always flunking tests-due to lack of effort. Instead of taking notes, during class she is drawing nasty pictures of the teachers. She will always be the one laughing in the hallways over the latest joke. (And it's very likely she is laughing very loudly.)

You are probably shaking your head, saying to yourself, man is that second girl a BABY! She should learn a little from that first girl. So let me add on the following scenario:

Girl 1: Her father is very sick and needs to be rushed to the emergency room by ambulance. She panics and runs to her bedroom in tears, and she won't come out.

Girl 2: Her father is very sick and needs to be rushed to the emergency room by ambulance. She helps her father get together whatever he might need in the hospital, sends her little brother out to wait for the ambulance (to make sure they know where to go). When hatzolah arrives, she brings them into the room, answers their questions, and helps them with whatever they need to take care of. After sending the little siblings to their friends, she drives to the hospital to sit in the emergency room with her mother. When her father finally gets admitted, despite being 4 am, she drives her mother and herself home, so that they can catch a few hours sleep before she drives back the next morning...

Ok, are you getting the picture? Girl 1 is MP, and Girl 2 is yours truly, SD.

Am I saying that I am the height of maturity? As all of my high school teachers would surely agree, I am FAR from the most mature person you'll ever meet. But, MP, who conveys such a perfectly mature image, is a whole lot less mature. According to MY definition of mature.

Does it really matter how loud or quiet someone acts? Who cares if I make a lot of jokes? Ok, maybe I laugh a little loud, but does that really matter? Wouldn't you say, that the thing that matters most is how a person reacts in the face of adversity? In a crisis situation, who would you prefer to have around? MP or SD? Is maturity measured by the amount of laughter included in a person's day? Or is it measured by things that matter a little more. Here is another example:

MP and SD go to a shiur together. MP brings along her shiurim loose leaf. Inside are pages and pages of neatly written notes on all previous shiurim she had attended. SD comes to the shiur and takes off her bracelet. She spends the entire shiur fiddling with it. MP wonders why SD bothers to come to the shiur, if she is not even listening or taking notes. But, while MP has a beautiful loose leaf filled with all the speeches she's been to in the last couple of years, SD has internalized the lessons. No, she can't repeat back all of the lessons she's heard. She can't even remember who said what. But when she is going through a rough time, she uses the various lessons she has internalized to pull her through.

Does MP seem more mature? Maybe to the uneducated, unthinking eye. Maybe to someone who doesn't know her very well. But, who do you really think is the more mature one?

Here is my definition of mature. A mature person is someone who has been through things in their life and has used those things to grow and develop as a person, and will use prior life experience to overcome and withstand hardships.

So this brings me back to changing as a result of having diabetes. What you have to realize is, change could be good, and it could be really bad. It depends on the nature of the change. I'll explain what I mean in my next post... Right now I am headed to the gym so I can try and outgrow my "juvenile diabetes" ;) (LOL)


anon#1 said...

From what you are saying, it seems that you are defining maturity differently in different situations. I agree that different circumstances bring out the best in different people. We all have different strengths.

Am I understanding you?

Something Different said...

I don't think you understood my point, but I'm not sure if I was clear. I'll try to explain tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Basically MP is mature in theory, she seems to possess all the necessary traits and signs to be mature, but when push came to shove, it didn't amount to anything.

You on the other hand are seemingly immature but when it comes down to it, you fly. Which is what really counts.

Throw out theory when the practical disproves it.

Also don't confuse responsible with mature...two different things.

Something Different said...

Ok I should really stop writing blog posts on three hours sleep...apparently that's past the threshhold of where I stop making sense.
What I mean to say is that when things go wrong, MP totally gets hysterical and can't deal with it, while SD is able to get over it and deal with it (if need be).
Yes, I am a thousand times more responsible than my sister, but that is not what I am talking about here. I am not only reffering to instances where something needs to be done. I am talking about any form of dissapointment or upset that may crop up in life.
Do you understand more now?
I think maturity comes from building on prior life experience to deal with new ones.

Oh ya, also, I don't think maturity means never laughing. Or chilling. IYKWIM.

halfshared said...

Who defines maturity by how loud or quiet a person is? I think maturity is someone that can face a difficult situation, deal with it and grow from it instead of running away from it and hoping it will go away. Maturity is seeing past superficialities instead of going along with juvenile prejudices. Maturity is so many hard to define.

Zeeskeit said...

Ok...HS - You got MY main point!

"Maturity is seeing past superficialities instead of going along with juvenile prejudices."

SD - I would call MP superficial. I can't stand all those who think that acting 20 when you're 15 and acting 30 when you're 18 is the height of superficiality. But unfortunately that is what the frum world at large deems "mature". Mature is someone who has priorities straight. Someone who thinks that pretending everything in their life is perfect and that they never lose my cool is just a faker....Got my gist?

tembow said...

i think what you're trying to say is that things can be different than they seem.

MP seems very mature and has a grip of everything but when something happens... everything's gone.
You may not seem very put-together and mature but when something happens, you can deal with it, while your sister cant deal.

Something Different said...

Ok, I think you basically understand.
I don't think maturity is defined by your quiet or aidel nature, but by your life experiences and WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THEM. I think it'll be more clear once I finish this thought, which'll happen in my next post, which will probably happen AFTER I get myself a good night sleep (:-P) which will probably be in a while...LOL

halfshared said...

By the way, no need to make her sister sound like an immature kid. Some people have a very hard time dealing with reality and tough situations. When push comes to shove, most people are capable of getting their acts together. I'm sure she would do. Everyone deals with things differently and we have to be understanding of that too. Don't mean to be preachy, just felt like sticking up for big sis :-).

Something Different said...

Ok, I think you basically understand.
I don't think maturity is defined by your quiet or aidel nature, but by your life experiences and WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THEM. I think it'll be more clear once I finish this thought, which'll happen in my next post, which will probably happen AFTER I get myself a good night sleep (:-P) which will probably be in a while...LOL

Maintenance said...

Maturity is overrated.

Everyone wants to be it, is apsirational, and admirable, but makes life more difficult if you think about it.

I was always "mature for my age". It gets boring.

Anonymous said...

Let me tell you something.....

Cherish your sister. Not all of us have them, I wish I do. Write something nice about her :)

Something Different said...

Maintenance, I think you are reffering to the OTHER definition of maturity. I don't think you can ever get enough of THIS kind. (The real kind...)

Something Different said...

KT, your right. I'm gonna write a post about why I like having her as a sister.

Maintenance said...

No, I was referring to right kind. Just because you can handle it, doesn't mean you like it.

(You handled your father going to the hospital, but I doubt you enjoyed it)

It can be boring and inconvenient to be so dependable and mature; people have a tendency to abuse the system.

Something Different said...

Maintenence, I beg to differ. My father got sick, he needed an ambulance. Dot dot dot. There was no choosing in that situation. The choice was which way to react, and I am glad my reaction was what it was, not what MP's was. No, it wasn't fun, but I prefer it to the alternative.

anon#1 said...

OK, I get your point.

There's a book I was just reading about two sisters, one who was put-together and popular, without a care in the world, and the other, who was much quieter and had to work harder to make friends. The first one got a teaching job straight out of sem, but gave up after less than half a year because it was too hard. The second one took a less appealing job so that she would eventually be able to work her way up to a job that she wanted.

The point is, the one who had no challenges in life gave up as soon as something became too tough. The other, who became stronger through her challenges, was able to handle what life threw at her, ultimately becoming the mature one.

Something Different said...

Which book was this Anon?

Yes, it makes sense.

Btw, I think I portrayed myself as more scatterbrained and flying than I really am...if thats possible....LOL

anon#1 said...

The book is called "Set me Free" and just came out recently. It's a long book (700 pages) but well worth it! It really makes you think.

Scatterbrained and flying - sounds exciting! Can't wait to find out what your chosson will be like!

Something Different said...

Sorry Anon! Just realized that I didn't respond to this. I actually borrowed this from someone and started reading but I had to give it back so I never finished. Maybe I will re-borrow it.

I really am not so scatterbrained or flying. In certain ways...whatever...complicated. And if YOU think you wanna know what he is like...

Ariella said...

Maturity comes in all shapes and sized. You might be more CAPABLE at handling tough situations, but giggling in class, being loud at inappropriate times, and an all-around appearance of dishevelment is a definite lack of maturity. Just because you might be mature/capable when the situation calls for it does not excuse a lack of maturity in day-to-day life.

Something Different said...

Ariella, I went back and read my post because it's been a while since I wrote it. I don't remember coming across as being quite so immature. I mean, wow! You really described a BABY!
Let me explain:
Yes, I did immature acts throughout my school years. I probably still do some very immature acts now. Yes, the teacher made me mad, but drawing a picture of her falling on the ice with all her papers and things spread out around her is a pretty immature way to react.
But is it so much more mature to cry in the bathroom over it? When I say cry, I mean bawling hysterically, I mean BOXES of tissues.
Do you get me? I just mean that acting quiet and introverted doesn't mean maturity. And acting loud and extroverted-and dare I say it-FUN- doesn't mean you are immature.

And just to clarify, I didn't giggle in class (but then again, I didn't listen either ;) I don't look disheveled, not in the slightest. I'm not sure what I said to give you that impression? I am very meticulous about my apperance.

Does it make sense now?

Ariella said...

Yes, this makes much more sense. I didn't necessarily mean that YOU were all those things (I have no clue what you look like, for example). I was just trying to explain that sometimes (and this has happened to me before) girls like I described use their so called capability in other situations (for example, if they know what to do in a crises) to cover for their lack of maturity in other areas. I've seen many girls like this and it's always very frustrating. To me, it's like, spend more time being a refined, mature person (not older than your age, but at LEAST your age, c'mon) in public where people can see you then talk about how mature you are other times where it's your word against everyone else's. In other words, be mature in public too and other places that matter!

Something Different said...

Ariella, I'm afraid I don't agree with you. Refinement doesn't equal maturity. In my opinion, refinement can be wonderful, but (TBB) it is equally mature to be an extroverted fun loving person but use your humor in appropriate ways (such as cheering up someone who is down) not immature ways (such as making fun of someone).