What is Maturity?

Different people see the meaning of maturity In different ways. People often think of maturity as being associated with a specific age. But in many cases, when a person has reached the age which is considered to be “mature”, he or she may not yet be mature mentally. Maturity is not defined by a specific age. The United States government, similar to that of other countries, has a set of specific ages In which people are considered “mature” enough to participate in activities such as drinking, driving, or being no longer sustained by parents.

Because not all who are of these gees are mentally mature, accidents and various other issues have occurred. Maturity Is the point at which one Is capable of making rational decisions, having humility and taking full responsibility for one’s actions, having empathy, being docile, and being secure in one’s own skin. There are many attributes that one must possess to be considered mature. A person must be able to make decisions that are not influenced by his emotions.

For example, when confronting a situation, he must be able to choose the solution that will be most beneficial to him and everyone involved, no matter how the person feels”. A mature person must also be humble and take full responsibility for all of his actions. This means the person must not be so arrogant that he is unable to recognize and acknowledge when he makes a mistake. Another attribute a person must have to be considered mature is empathy.

One must be able to put oneself in another’s shoes, understand the emotions that person may be experiencing, and treat him with compassion. A person must also be docile. He must be teachable, not be stubborn, seek wisdom, and not assume he Is all-knowing (Elmer). The last tribute one must possess to be considered mature Is being comfortable In one’s own skin. The person must be confident in who he is and not let this be swayed by anyone. Maturity Is a growing process that is primarily influenced by environmental factors.

The road each person travels to reach maturity Is different, thus the process cannot be explained. The human brain does not reach the peak of growth until one is around twenty-five years old (Steinberg). This does not mean that when one’s brain is fully grown the person has reached maturity; however, it is necessary for the brain to e fully grown for one to reach maturity. One’s process of maturation Is Influenced by the environment in which one is raised and the people one is surrounded by, as well as one’s life experiences, such as traumas and relationships (Wilson).

The way a person uniquely interprets these experiences and grows from them affects how he matures as well. It can take a shorter amount of time for some to reach maturity, and it can take a lifetime for others. Some people never reach maturity, thus a specific age of maturity does not exist. One may wonder why the government has set ages in which people are insider to be “mature” enough to participate In certain activities If there Is not a specific age at which maturity Is reached.

Are all sixteen year olds mature enough to drive? Are all eighteen year olds mature enough to move out of their parents’ houses 1 OFF alcohol? Of course not. According to Laurence Steinberg, a distinguished professor of psychology at Temple University, “Significant changes in brain anatomy and activity are still taking place during young adulthood, especially in frontal regions that are important for planning ahead, anticipating the future consequences of one’s cessions, controlling impulses, and comparing risk and reward. This is the reason why there are so many accidents among teenage drivers, so many people who end up flunking out of college and cannot get a Job – assuming they successfully made it through high school, and so many incidents involving alcohol abuse, such as alcohol poisoning and drunk driving. Because there are people who are considered to be of the “mature age” to drive, support themselves, and drink alcohol, yet make poor decisions without thinking of the consequences and how others may be affected, it is rover that not everyone who is of the “mature age” has truly reached maturity.

Maturity is reached when a person is able to make decisions that are not influenced by emotions, have humility and hold himself accountable for his actions, have empathy, be docile, and be confident with who he is. Maturity is not age specific. The ages considered “mature” by the government which allow people to participate in activities such as driving, no longer being sustained by parents, and drinking alcohol are not ages in which every person is truly mature enough to participate in said activities because some people make poor decisions that can cause accidents and other negative effects.