Immaturity is the folly of youth. It is almost as involuntary as it is necessary, though, no less frustrating, it can breed misunderstanding. It breeds misunderstanding because the immature are unable to gain perspective or understanding often too clouded by the desire to be right and, thus, unable to see things from any other angle but that one right there in which they have firmly planted themselves. Stubborn fools! Ah, to be young again…maybe.
A problem with immaturity is its power to render you unable to grow. This is strange because the very presence of it should signal an opportunity to learn and gain perspective, by suffering it and reflecting up on it, thus growing you as a person. However, more often, times arrive and immaturity rears its ugly head overwrought with emotion. Though, this pathetic flailing around is perhaps one thing that saves the immature because it makes those who have already endured similar experiences want to help them, to lift the masks they know cover their faces, and show them a new perspective. But only those who want help can be helped, only those who want change can change, only those who recognize the need for growth can foster, nourish and grow it. And, for those reasons we all go through the motions (and emotions) of immaturity, though adolescence and young adulthood seem riddled with these moments, and the opportunity to be right, to know everything.
In our youth we are supposed to be stubborn and bull-headed. We are supposed to argue, disobey, disagree and push boundaries, both with ourselves and others; we did it as infants, toddlers and kids as a way to grow. Though it may not be recognizable as the same thing in adolescents and young adults it is just that: a way to grow. A baby must experience things on multiple levels in order for it to learn something, and most times telling them (nicely or otherwise) is not the way; a child will pull a cat’s tail until it has been swatted enough times to connect the pull and the swat, until it understands the two actions are related: there is a need to know and understand consequences, good or bad. It is crucial. However, not everyone learns like that. Not everyone learns. There is one thing that will always improve these situations, something that can bring about more growth than anything else –save the actual experiences themselves- and that is open discourse.
Another problem is the way in which immaturity will tinker around with your priorities. Because immaturity can lock you in time, it can also skew your view of what is important; locked in a mindset the rest of your person outgrew will leave you looking ‘silly’ as it shows your inability to deal with new situations. It also shows an inability to get over things, an inability to forgive. When we are unable to move beyond situations, and sometimes people, it begins to retard our current relationships. Sometimes it is without our knowledge, sometimes we just cannot help ourselves. Feelings get hurt and immaturity holds on to that with a bitterness that can (and maybe will) eventually turn so sour everything spoils. It all becomes so muddled because most of us try to do the right thing. Not be right. To do right – and that is harder still because who declares what is and is not the right thing to do is unknown. A lot of times it feels like it should be our decision, but that simply is not the case. When we support the ones we love wholly and genuinely it comes with a passion that transcends time, and sometimes even dimension. Being privy to the hurt of a loved one can be confusing and difficult to deal with because when we see them move on from that hurt (while we cannot) it hurts us; we want them to be as upset as we (still) are, not because we want them to continue to hurt but because it was the support that united you. It is like joining together for a cause. It isn’t out of place to feel lost in the absence of the cause or when the hurts have healed. However, it is not fair to anyone to harbour hurts that were never yours. In doing so you risk the relationship with the person you are championing for, you risk the future, and you allow the past to have too much power in a situation where it should not have any rule. Your priorities become skewed because you can no longer see the harm your immaturity, and perhaps, the refusal to forgive, now causes. You will end up hurting the ones you love while trying to protect them.
Immaturity in adults is a chosen lifestyle. And, I would say, it borders on one of ignorance. They keep themselves locked in a mode and time that simply no longer exists. They live in a place that is a fantasy. It is self-created and self-perpetuated. These people have put themselves at the top of a hierarchy that really only includes themselves – a narcissistic way of life, but you see it every day. It is not that they are bad and plotting people nor is it that they are it sort of just is and the rest of us have to find a way to deal with it. Sometimes these people are so inward they do not even have the capacity to see that they are alone.
Immaturity will make a fool of you no matter what your age. If you do not take the opportunities offered for you to grow yourself in every way you are a fool, and young in the soul in an unhealthy way, for this will force your soul in to a stagnant position that will eventually eliminate the possibility for growth and diminish any growing you have already done.