Maturity - A Person of Substance
Do you aspire to maturity? Would that mean being matronly? Or would it mean being middle-aged, with hints of grey appearing already? Given a choice, would you want to be mature? Or would you want to keep playing the Peter Pan card of eternal youth? Does being mature mean being moderate, mild-mannered and meek, as most people understand meek? No. Maturity doesn't mean throwing out the zest for living. It doesn't mean being upper crust or maintaining a stiff upper lip. It does mean that you increase in wisdom. It means that you choose to be joyful. It means you continue storing up resources so you can be helpful to others. It means being a person of substance.
What is a person of substance? It doesn't just imply that you are a person of means. You could be limited in terms of finances and other material. That doesn't mean you can't be a person of substance. I read many years ago in a Reader's Digest article about the writer reminiscing about his mother. According to him, she used to often say "If you don't have an education, you just have to use your head." Tremendous wisdom, not to mention determination, from a mother raising her children in a ghetto. Now, that woman was definitely a person of substance. I wish more of us would take what she said to heart. And remember to apply it well.
Maturity in Leadership
I've heard too many times the fallacy that leaders are the thinkers and the ones with great ideas, while managers and workers are the ones who execute. We need to stop this. There are too many prima donnas in leadership positions. Do you think we should choose our leaders based on how well they dress and how well they present their ideas? I don't. Leaders ought to be selected based on not a few criteria, but the one thing I would always look for is level of maturity. You don't have to be forty-five to be mature, you could be fifteen or twelve for all I care. Prove that you are mature enough to be my leader and I will follow and support you no matter what your age. "Age is such a high price to pay for maturity" is so very true. Don't train our young people to be fresh. Train them to be mature. There is a certain vim, an enduring exhilaration, that comes from expressing your maturity. Age is just a number.
Freshness, vigour, virality, and, yes, virility, do not imply maturity. A person of substance may not appear to be exhibiting these traits, but we will definitely experience their effects. And while a thirteen-year-old may be manifestly mature, such thirteen-year-olds are rare indeed. Choose your leaders wisely.