Alphabet Of Manly Virtues: “M” Is For “Maturity”

18 Jun

(“The Alphabet of Manly Virtues” is a 26 post series examining various character traits of godly men. Check back every Tuesday and Thursday for new posts! To view other entries in the series, click here.)

mMerriam-Webster defines Maturity as “(noun) the quality or state of being Mature; Full Development; based on slow, careful consideration”

From my own experience, maturity seems to be a trait that everyone struggles with daily in their own way. Men are often held in positions of responsibility and in essence must hold onto maturity with an iron grip to so that they seem to have it all together, not being foolish or childish in their actions. Others tend to view it with a sign of wisdom from age.

Although I agree with this, I’m not sure that I can fully agree with it all. Maturity is subjective. Men get pinned into being mature, while in the effort of doing so much give up their fun and lighthearted spirit. The forced effort of being a grown up.

To me, someone who doesn’t believe in all the characteristics of growing up, that is a thought of terror. Growing up, maturity looked like a business-suited man with an MBA, and an odd greasy personality trying to sell me something.

I work in the entertainment industry. We are a people who are accused of being childish, refuse to grow up, party like rock stars, and only think about ourselves. This is partly true. But despite some of the characteristics of hanging onto childhood like Peter Pan, we have to grow up in our own rights. Watching some of the great men in this industry, and in my life who have shown me that maturity isn’t about forgetting fun, its about understanding the consequences and choosing what seems right for you at the time.

As I’ve grown older, I have realized the outer appearance isn’t what shows Maturity, it is the way you treat someone, how you handle a situation, knowing when and how to speak. I’ve grown to appreciate those who know when to speak and when to be quiet, they know the weight of their words, and they know what actions they need to take, choosing to make the right choices. I’ve been blessed to be around men who speak such wisdom when they choose and the rest of the time they simply remain quiet, taking in every account around them, reading people’s reactions, and knowing how to say exactly what needs to be said.

I learned my own maturity out of stubbornness, having to work multiple jobs at a time to make sure bills where paid and money was adequately saved. My choices were an action of being responsible for myself. I could have done like many do and chosen other options, but for me the right (and I feel, mature) choice was to work myself from waiting tables, and being a janitor, to now working on films and award shows.

Working in entertainment I see people all the time who act immature well into their 50s, and I’ve seen 21 year olds who are  mature beyond their years. It is one thing to not want to grow up, but it is another to not mature.

We grow in maturity by weighing our actions, our words, and consequences and deciding what will be best for  everyone involved.

Being mature is more than being an affluent adult—Don Draper is an affluent adult who acts very immature in his actions on Mad Men. Instead, be yourself, have fun, enjoy life like Peter Pan, but know that your words and actions do come with consequences, both positive and negative, and the best decision should be put into them.

In what ways have you had to grow in maturity over the years?

-Chad Ray
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Chad lives in Nashville, TN. There he is pursuing his dream jobs in Live Television and Music Production and Acting, getting opportunities to work in some of the nations greatest venues. He is a nerd of social observations, often reading books about random topics, loves tattoos, concerts, CrossFit, and his church. Chad spent most of his life in a small town in Mississippi before moving to nashville and has his roots grounded in that simple life, but still likes to live a life of adventure and excitement. His big dream is to start working on documentaries of ordinary people doing things they never thought they could, and changing the way they live their life afterwards. To keep up with his life, follow him on twitter, Instagram, or his blog.

3 Responses to “Alphabet Of Manly Virtues: “M” Is For “Maturity””

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