A Call To Maturity
By Dr. Jennifer Howard
Looking at where we are now, as a society we have much work to do, in spite of the fact that 2010 promises much change and new beginnings. The economic meltdown fueled by rampant greed, politicians who feel they are above the law and many other leaders who are not taking true leadership, have brought our country, not to mention the world, to tumultuous times. These sudden world changes have unearthed a number of shady goings-on.
LESSONS NOT LEARNED
Shouldn't we have learned from the past, such as the gluttonous roaring twenties which led to the sobering, devastating depression of the 30's? Short-sightedness has so many personal and societal layers. What is lacking in many of these so-called leaders is maturity. Yet, for quite some time, their immaturity has appeared to make them successful; however, it's led them to make horrifically wrong decisions that affect all of us.
WHAT IS MATURITY?
When I think of a mature person, I think of someone taking actions based on slow and careful considerations. It seems much of our culture plays to our youthful and impulsive side. Many people grow old and yet do not mature. By maturity, I mean a thoughtful, inwardly connected, introspective, considerate, weighing-all-sides kind of behavior. Our overly youthful mentality has fed a fun-loving image that includes recklessness, impulsiveness, and dangerous actions that compromises our society. This behavior temporarily fulfills our momentary pleasure and deludes us, leading us to think we circumvented the inevitable reality; now reality has reared its unavoidable head.
Society is facing a crossroads that has the possibility of helping us grow into all our potentials both as individuals and as a community. Growth toward developing a strong, mature sense of self is worth every effort for our survival. It's that important.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE?
Developing into a person we can admire takes mindfulness, which in turn builds a society of true adults. We can be the leaders we long for. I believe this is in part President Barack Obama's message, which encourages us as a people toward this larger way of seeing the world.
Learning how to take responsibility, developing integrity and searching for truth all lead to a humble wisdom that nourishes the world. This kind of introspective maturity, along with being genuinely intellectually curious, leads to an inner knowing that is more firmly based in reality. Only after this level of inquiry can we trust our gut or intuition.
IT TAKES COURAGE
Much of our past leadership was based on going from the gut with no deep investigation of facts or understanding all sides. This leads to unnecessary chaos. Life has enough unknown without throwing caution to the wind. We have already seen much spinning of reality to fit the moment. This couched carelessness can be experienced as arrogance to many of us.
Growing and accepting the assignment of maturity as well as taking on the task of accountability is a badge of courage. As with each new day, we have been given an opportunity with this New Year to take on the challenge of reaching our potential maturity. This maturity can bring great satisfaction, not just momentary pleasures. In order to have a more functional society, we as individuals have to be willing to take responsibility and do what is necessary to develop ourselves into the leaders we long for.