Adulthood and maturity: are they same?

Tanziral Zahara Zabin | Published: 00:00, Jan 27,2019


- interchanges

What is maturity and at what age it comes to someone? Considering the society and reality we live in today, maturity comes suddenly when someone crosses certain age. But, is that so? Tanziral Zahara Zabin ponders over the dialectic of maturity and adulthood in our society

We all become adults the same way. People are following the same pattern of getting education to getting married to having kids and a proper job. Same cannot be said about maturity. Maturity does not follow such patterns nor does it arrive at a certain point in our lives. Adulthood means the growth of one’s own age, which every living person is bound to obtain at a certain point of their life. On the other hand, maturity is the quality of having wisdom that may or may not be present in someone’s character. It is presumed that when a person steps into adulthood, they become mature. However, observing the people living in a society it can be said with much certainty that such presumption is absolutely wrong. In reality, maturity and adulthood do not necessarily come at the same time. Moreover, as pointed earlier, many will agree that one can even exist without the other. The further discussions in this article will reveal the prevalent characteristics of the people in our society which indicate the toxic and sure signs of immaturity.   

Social gatherings, to a large extent, have become the arenas for self-boasting. In today’s grand weddings or events, the guests exude the air of their nobility with by being clad with their most expensive attire and jewelry. If observed carefully, one can definitely notice that most of the conversations that take place in such events mostly comprise of the gold or diamonds one is wearing or how much the recently purchased sarees cost. These events then merely become all about taking as many pictures as possible and heeding the trait of self-boasting by posting them on the social media later on. The irony here is that, in most of these cases of weddings, a very few to none of those pictures are of the bride and groom.

Jealousy is a universal phenomenon. Adults question their own lives comparing with associates or friends prosper in life, which in turn leads to jealousy. Jealousy can also be molded by seeing other friends getting friendlier; meaning that people seem to be approaching you with more respect and gentleness when they hear of your white collar job with a hefty salary or of your influential position within an organisation or in the society. Such an established mentality behind approaching people leads us to belittling people for feeding our own egos and over-indulging in our self-satisfaction.

Some of the most essential elements that lead to maturity and build a person’s character are ethics and principles. Remembering to do a work is a sign of maturity. On the other hand, slacking behind to finish work at the last minute can be considered as a sign of immaturity. People do not even shy away from putting blame on others if they fail to complete their work in time. This feature in a person’s character exhibits irresponsibility and indifference towards others. Therefore, finishing work with sufficient time in hand before the due date can be regarded as a sign of maturity.

The society needs more open-minded characters than loudmouths. It is natural that people will have different perspectives that reflect their backgrounds. Nevertheless, being emphatic about own opinions while dismissing others’ needs to be eluded. Such behavior has been shielded by the words ‘honesty’, ‘straightforward’ and ‘opinionated’ in society. However, such behavior is simply perceived as ‘aggressive’ and ‘quarrelsome’. Most of us are too clear about our own ideas to respect others’ and they listen only to refute. A mature opinionated person, however, would be contented to have a civilised discussion that welcomes conflicting opinions.

Getting agitated and argumentative on petty issues is genuinely unsettling the harmony of our society. This leads to giving hate comments publicly to blocking people on social media out of anger. Some tend to deactivate their social media accounts to avoid people they are having issues with. These are the signs indicating that maturity does not necessarily come with adulthood.

Fortunately, there will be many adults we meet in life who will help us to flourish. They will guide and motivate us to be better human beings. They will be role models who will provide us with vision to excel in life. They help us learn self-control, patience and etiquettes to exhibit. Nevertheless, along the way, there will always be people whose behaviors will raise a lot of questions and get further beyond any reasoning. Observing such casualties in the society it can be construed that adulthood and maturity are very different. A person who is an adult may not be mature yet, while a person who is not adult might have already reached the point of maturity. The environment we grow up in including everything that surrounds play a very crucial role in developing our maturity. Therefore, with positive surroundings and environment in life, wishing people become mature sooner than later including myself.

Tanziral Zahara Zabin is an English language teacher at an English medium school.

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