Understanding ‘Maturity’

bullying

I watched an episode of gossip girl-In the realm of the Basses- season two, a few years  ago, where Blair Waldorf was trying to impress members of the Colony Club-an exclusive Upper East Side women’s social group- who she was hosting in her house, in an attempt to gain entrance in the club…  the sophisticated ladies turned out to be snobs; they set a few ground rules, which Blair realized she couldn’t keep as she realized they were literally asking her to turn her back on her friends Chuck Bass and Serena Van Der Woodsen.

According to the colony club ladies, Chuck and Serena were too scandalous for Blair’s good. Their names were splashed on tabloids for all the wrong reasons. So it-the ultimatum- was quite simple, if Miss Waldorf wanted in, she would have to sever ties with her amigos.

Blair really wanted to become a member of the elite group, but she realized she couldn’t ditch her friends for a group of women who seemed old; mature even, but in the real essence were just ‘girls’ who hadn’t graduated from high school-behavioural wise. Even though they were all grown up, Blair realized they were just acting like high school brats. “I thought I was living high school behind, I guess you never do”, she told them.

As I watched that episode I had a few people in mind; those who totally refused to part with their young selves, whose reasoning hadn’t evolved.

This brought me to the realization that maturity is not about boobs getting fuller with advancing age or one growing facial hair…all of nature’s effects that characterize the stage when a child is morphing into an adult; simply put, maturity doesn’t just refer to physical growth; it actually refers to mental growth, which is attributed to God-given wisdom and knowledge.

Knowledge is information acquired through reading mostly…and it’s not something that everyone enjoys because not everyone goes to school/ learning institutions. But with wisdom, anyone can get free access to it, if they will it. Wisdom is enriched by one’s personal experiences or learning from other people’s experiences; wise people learn from those experiences and make the right choices in life based on that.

There are things I see grown-ups doing that remind me of the things I did as a kid or that I saw other kids doing, and I just shake my head. When I was a teenager, I was exposed to so much-people’s characters and all- and it is precisely at that stage that I realized what I wanted to be and what I didn’t want to be. I reckon it’s at this stage when some of life’s important decisions are made, though many people don’t seem to realize that at the time.

I don’t mean to sound judgmental, but I find it shallow-for lack of a better word-when grown-ups start dissing someone; laughing in their face because of their physical appearance: because they’re too scrawny for their liking, or because their bum’s a little bit saggy, or because they have scars or deformities…I could continue but I bet you get the picture…honestly, I find it juvenile.

I thought some habits fade with time, but apparently, there are some people who insist on clinging on to their puerile selves, because I simply fail to understand how someone in their right mind would tease someone because of their physical appearance…? And I mean the intense ridicule which shatters the victim’s self-confidence.

Perchance I had a different childhood from everyone else, but kids my age indulged in that kind of absurdity-making snide remarks because one’s dad didn’t ride a cool car, or because one’s sense of fashion (if any) left so much to be desired, etc.- when we were teenagers or younger; many seemed to regain their ‘humanity’ right after high school. I would think it’s because that’s when life starts to feel real; new responsibilities…realizing that in life nothing is definite.

For many, the first few years of their lives are a somewhat clear path; one’s goals feel well-defined, finishing high school being the ultimate goal. After that, life starts to feel daunting at times, because that distinct path vanishes, and it dawns that each decision made counts, and inevitably, for life to continue, many decisions must be made.

I often wonder, one laughs at someone because they are too big, who’s to guarantee them that tomorrow they won’t be walking in those same shoes? One laughs at someone because they are dirt poor, who’s to guarantee them that tomorrow they won’t be waiting around street corners with their arms outstretched, asking for handouts? After all, it’s only a given fact, life is unpredictable.

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