There’s this iconic line in the Princess Bride when the sword fighter tells his boss that the word “inconceivable” probably doesn’t mean what he thinks it does. Maturity is a word that is defined in so many ways, we’re probably all partially wrong.
When I think of the word, I’m thinking in terms of children growing up. Of becoming cognizant of the world and the people surrounding them; acting in such a way that is either age-appropriate or appropriate for someone slightly older.
When my 14 year old washes her cup out or budgets her time well or handles a friend’s sad news with caring compassion – I think my kid is being mature. (When she’s sprawled across the living room with snacks, blankets and Netflix, she seems less so) My point here is that most of us flex and shrink in terms of maturity. Sometimes we are mature, sometimes, it’s all we can do to make sure our pjs aren’t on inside out.
If my supposition is true, what does that say about us? Which is the true person? Can I count on someone who’s wearing their 2003 band tee shirt backwards to help me with hanging a new light fixture? With my taxes? Switching places, am I able to see through someone’s competence to their inner couch potato? Or is it less about specific actions and more to do with timing. In my child’s case, that most of the time, she takes care of her school work and is kind to her friends enough to overlook the moments she’s curled up sneaking ‘people food’ to our kitten well after most people her age have gotten dressed and on with their day.
My gut is to go with assuming the best: that most of the time, folks bring the maturity they have that day to the table. If all that means is cleaning up the popcorn and putting on matching fuzzy socks, that that is the best they’ve got this day.