I was meditating on the nature of maturity recently and I recalled something that Saul Bellow once remarked. He said: “A man should be able to hear, and to bear, the worst that could be said of him.”

One sign of immaturity is an unwillingness to be responsible for one’s decisions, behaviors, and actions, be they good, bad, or ugly. A mature person, however, assumes full responsibility, never blames, and always makes the adjustments necessary to regain the high road.

The mature person readily admits impure intentions, poor decision-making, and myopia. The immature person, on the other hand, elects dissemblance over honesty and pretension over sincerity.

The mature person makes himself vulnerable, while the immature person camouflages his vulnerabilities. In any case, the former approach constrains to enlightenment and the restoration of innocence; the latter to encumbrance and greater shame, guilt, or both.

Were you to hear the worst that could be said about you today, in this moment, would you bear it and seek to improve upon it so that the greater you can find expression? Or would you leap to your own defense and seek to convince those who know you well that they should accept the lesser you?

The choice is always yours.

6 thoughts on “Maturity

  1. Joshua

    Let me have it, or bring it!
    For the worst that can be said of me, is part of that which is already gone.
    A key to unlocking true maturity could also be seen as not requesting forgiveness, but… Dolling it out at each opportunity.
    How willing to receive such, we all are and yet it’s our wanting that blocks it from happening.
    Give and Thou shalt receive.
    Give freely in abundance that which you would seek, were you still immature.
    Maturity, it’s expression is available in the littlest of details, smallest of attitudes.
    Let this day, send a message loud and clear to the immature subconscious, here I stand
    And here shall I remain!


  2. Carol

    Discipline and maturity go hand in hand. It takes discipline to examine your feelings or perceptions and not automatically react to them the way you always have done or how you’ve seen others handle in similar situations. What characterizes my own expression in every moment? Maturity or immaturity? Wisdom or foolishness? Meditation every single day truly helps because it is an opportunity to consider your world, the part you play, and what changes you need to make. No one can do that for you. Reading your blog every day is a constant reminder of how to live a purposeful and meaningful life. Thank you so much Gregg. Your blog is stellar!


  3. There has been an intriquing documentary about FDR on PBS of late that includes depictions of what he had to hear and bear the worst said of himself. It was interesting to see that how his desired vision and goals were kept within himself that served to keep him moving forward regardless of what was said to him. The documentary illustrated especially how he handled his experience with polio moving on to become President. Your words yesterday regarding self discipline necessary for the accomplishment of our aspirations brings greater understanding of how maturity can also be increased..


  4. Ricardo B.

    Here again we come against what is true about the situation. The truth may be a bitter pill, may be hard to swallow, but always yields what is ultimately best. Hiding behind appearances will never ever bring about what’s best for oneself, as only what is true can do that, even if you have to go through some discomfort of your own making. Moreover, one need not know what is best for him/herself in method; just in principle is sufficient, as the method then naturally appears. Honesty/transparency/vulnerability truly is the best policy.

    A call to maturity is what the truth beckons. Stepping out of the shadows and into the light exposes those areas not up to par to the higher self and with a simple touch of humility, balance can always be restored. To love the light with all one’s might propels the true seeker into fullness of being!


  5. Carmen

    When have humans wished to clearly see themselves without the illusions that we put upon ourselves throughout our lifetimes as if we were putting on a coat. To be able to see the very darkest parts of ourselves, and know all our weaknesses and temptations as they truly exist is most difficult. We seek rather the comfort of rationalizing our doings, and hanging pretty flowers upon them in our minds. But to be able to fully acknowledge that the worst human behavior does exist within us all, and can only be a matter of where and when the individual choses to allow the expression of that lower nature to come forth. Or whether the spiritual self is of such a degree that the lower nature can not exist. These are the questionings that need to be considered here. It is only when we can embrace all the highest of ideals and allow expression of them through us, do we touch a level of being that allows The Greatness to be expressed through us.


  6. Lady Leo

    There are a number of milestones we pass on the road to maturity. One is that maturity begins to grow when you can sense your concern for others outweighing your concern for yourself. Another is that we can no longer be taken in by oneself.
    I like your new format, nice!


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