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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Your Grade (So Far): Maturity

After three and a half years and thirty nine attributes, it may be time for final grades. But before wrapping up the long-running "My Grade (So Far)" series, David Brooks has persuaded me - via his excellent book "The Road to Character" (2015) - to take a fresh look at maturity, a virtue/attribute I'd heretofore judged to be over-rated. The link at the bottom is for an old post about this word; think of me eating crow as you read it.

Unfortunately, the dictionary lets me down here, defining maturity as ... 1.) the state of being mature; ripeness and ... 2.) full development; perfected condition. Brooks has something much richer in mind extolling maturity in the "humility code" that closes his book . His vision inspires, terrifies and exhausts me.

"The person who struggles against weakness and sin ... will become mature. Maturity is not based on talent or ... gifts that help you ace an IQ test ... It is not comparative. It is earned not by being better than other people at something, but by being better than you used to be. It is earned by being dependable in times of testing, straight in times of temptation."

Using that formulation, how would you grade yourself (so far) for maturity? I'm not sure I can land on my own grade yet; need more processing time. I do know I'm a long way from an "A" but want one real bad and am willing to work for it. You?


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