clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Music and the Spoken Word: Maturity is more than years

A person may be old in years and not very mature; on the other hand, we are often surprised by the maturity of young people. Yes, maturity is more than years.
A person may be old in years and not very mature; on the other hand, we are often surprised by the maturity of young people. Yes, maturity is more than years.
©istockphoto.com/Rinelle

Editor's note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast. This will be given Aug. 20, 2017.

It’s fair to say that the world would be better if people were a little more mature.

We hear of conflict and anger on our roads and in our homes, we know of dangers and discord around the world, and we wish more people would “act their age.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean we need more senior citizens — in fact, most would agree that maturity is not merely a matter of age or even experience. A person may be old in years and not very mature; on the other hand, we are often surprised by the maturity of young people. Yes, maturity is more than years.

So what is maturity?

Maturity is exercising good judgment: It’s knowing when to speak up and when to keep quiet. Maturity is doing the right thing even when it’s not the easy thing. Maturity is balancing time and resources wisely and putting first things first.

Maturity is humility: It’s being willing to say, “I was wrong” and “I’m sorry.” Maturity is keeping your word and living up to your responsibilities.

Columnist Ann Landers is credited with this definition: “Maturity is the ability to stick with a job until it’s finished, to do a job without being supervised, to carry money without spending it, and to bear injustice without wanting to get even" (see "Thoughts on the Business of Life," Forbes, May 19, 1997).

That which inspires us to do good, to help others, to be better, to think beyond the here and now, could be called maturity. Indeed, maturity covers a wide description of positive qualities. Many of these qualities are taught in the school of experience, but as the students in that school, we determine how effective the curriculum is. No, maturity is not just “acting our age” but acting according to our better natures, according to our innate sense of goodness.

Maturity is not an inevitable part of aging but rather a choice. Anytime we choose to do the right thing, to be responsible and dependable, to help and not harm, to lift and not belittle, we choose to be mature. And with that choice, we are also choosing a good and happy life — for ourselves and for the world around us.

Tuning in …

The “Music and the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL Radio 1160 AM/102.7 FM, ksl.com, KSL X-stream, BYU-TV, BYU Radio, BYU-TV International, CBS Radio Network, Dish Network, DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio (Channel 143), mormontabernaclechoir.org and youtube.com/mormontabchoir. The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. MDT on many of these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at musicandthespokenword.org/schedules.