Articles are available for reprint as long as the author is acknowledged: Domenick J. Maglio Ph.D.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


By Domenick J. Maglio PhD. Traditional Realist

Maturity does not necessarily come with growing older. There are young people who are appropriate beyond their years while older individuals can make ridiculous choices.  Life experiences give a person the opportunity to learn how to handle the frustration and unexpected incidents of living. 

When there is something unfortunate that happens to a mature person he focuses and comes up with a solution. They do their duties effectively and efficiently without complaining. On the other hand there are middle aged and elderly people who solicit or demand a bailout whenever things do not go their way. They literally fall apart and are unable to pull themselves together when things get tough.

A mature person regardless of his age realizes that life is often unfair. When an individual observes reality he learns every person is unique. Some are bigger or smaller, some have photographic memories, others run like the wind or have a physical handicap. Differences can initially be weakness that teach the person through disciplined hard work that he can transform it into a strength or a strength can be relied on too much and it becomes a liability. Too often over relying on strength can become a deterrent to the overall development of a person.

An illness or injury can be a great learning experience. Instead of wallowing in the present circumstances a mentally strong person uses the setback to do something productive such as reading, developing a new interest or skill. Many severely injured war veterans are an inspiration to anyone who has the privilege of meeting them. These people employ their ingenuity to find a beneficial outcome to a personal catastrophe. A winner learns to “roll with life’s punches” rather than to “take it rigidly on the chin” making it a knockout punch. They may even have to “get off the canvas” and regroup in order to turn a defeat into a victory.

Many of the set backs and even tragedies in life can be enlightening experiences. The loss of a loved one can inspire a person to live a better life in their memory. An illness can help an individual appreciate the things they have as compared to others less fortunate. “There but for the grace of God goes I.” It can increase an individual’s empathy for others.

A self-centered individual feels sorry for himself for anything he no longer has or never had in the first place.  They are never satisfied with what they have attained. These people have not taught themselves to bounce back rather they “hug the canvas” in embarrassment or self pity. Their perseverance and gratefulness is poorly developed due to being over indulged. They demand rather than give back.

If we are observant of reality it teaches us tough love works. When we overcome adversity we are stronger and wiser. We have learned the lesson that when we concentrate our minds on overcoming an obstacle we will find a way around it or through it. We become more self-reliant to improve the hand we have been dealt by turning it into an advantageous situation.

Maturity is the knowledge that life will get better through the power of accepting the present while preparing ourselves for even more challenges in the future. There is a great advantage in gladly accepting the next challenge. Conquering problems results in increasing skills and competencies for solving future ones. The person accepting the possibility of the worst scenario is more likely to appreciate the actual results. Expecting and wanting too much for oneself in the future is to set up for disappointment and resentment. Being grateful for what one has brings contentment and peace.  

Too many of us have not been exposed to the hard reality of life that most people worldwide have had to confront in order to survive. The lack of knowledge of our own and ancestor’s history has deprived us of appreciating the incredible bubble of peace and prosperity Americans have recently experienced. America has been blessed but this will not last forever.

Life is harder than many people have been taught. Preparing for the inevitable hardships, accidents and setbacks that are part of everyone’s life is another sign of maturity. As each of us ages every one experiences a loss of physical stamina and strength. We experience the death of loved ones, the birth of new family members and the realization that life will go on.

 In the late stages of life a person with wisdom will accept and prepare for the inevitability of death in order not to be a burden to others. The person puts his financial house in order. The peaceful acceptance of one’s inevitable demise is the ultimate indicator of a self-actualized person. Life’s journey teaches the wise how and why to roll with the punches and finally when to let go.


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