Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Maturity Becoming Obsolete

Originally posted on August 1, 2018

The very idea of “maturity” as having “grown up enough” is passing. We live in an era of exponential development where, by the time someone has grows up, the world has changed. The maturity involved in being fully “mature” keeps receding, like the horizon. “Maturity” has advanced beyond us, and even the best of us keep maturing into new territory, beyond far horizons.

Perhaps the word itself has now become obsolete. Not only are there so many maturational tasks that have become apparent, but they keep receding. When is a reasonably-adjusted 30 year old mature? Not only was I at that age immature, but I was immature in other ways at 40 and 50, and even in yet other ways at 60 and 70. Am I mature now at going-on-81? No, but now I’m aware that maturity is an asymptotic limit, like the speed of light. We can never actually “get there.” As an old German proverb says, “We grow too soon old and too late smart.”

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