When I was in school, one refrain from my parents and teachers was “Act your age”. Sometimes, it was because I acted in a manner befitting one younger and in others one older. In the latter case, another adage used to be common “You are old beyond your age”.

What I wanted most was to mature fast to reach the magical age of 18 so that I could be formally employed and also get a driving licence. Once I reached that stage the next ambition was to reach the magical age of 21 so that I could vote. I wish that like it is now, the qualifying age for voting had been 18 too then.

These reflections are what prompted me to suggest this topic when I was reminiscing about my teenage years for a different purpose.

I distinctly remember one particular instance when a prospect that I was trying to convince to buy a policy from me told me, “You are not mature enough to understand my problem. Please get your Supervisor to come over to discuss this matter.” I promptly did that and found that the Supervisor said the same things that I had said but, the prospect accepted those arguments which he had not from me. A matter of perception and lack of confidence in a young person. At least he was being direct instead of some others who were patronising which was worse.

I grew out of all these stages eventually and I had to assume leadership roles soon enough when the impact of being mature really hit me hard. I understood then that maturity comes with experience and not age. This was when I came across a definition of “maturity” as acting with courage but, with concern” which resonated with me and I have used that as a yardstick to assess my own and others level of maturity.

Here is a case in point to drive home my point. My post yesterday talked about a physically mature and so called educated person. Some would say that he even acted with courage of some sorts but, surely, he did not act with concern, for himself and for the rest of the society. I most decidedly would not call him mature. Would you?

This is my take on this week’s Friday 3 On 1 blog posts where Sanjana, Shackman and I write on the same topic. Today’s topic has been suggested by me. Please do go over to the other two blogs to see what they have to say on the same topic. Thank you.

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