Friday, February 20, 2009

Maturity part 3

If a person, be it male or female, are nagging every time they are confronted with the truth or at times they make fun of the truth, it is immaturity. I find it quite funny that there are women that I know tend to be foolish. Don’t get me wrong. Being serious doesn’t mean maturity also.

I do admit, I am a bit one-sided on this. Why? Because I often hear ladies saying that the bachelors are immature, irresponsible, lack etiquette, etc. (I am speaking on particular crowd, not in general). Oh, and by the way, not all comic/TV/Movie geeks, cartoonists, comic fans and the likes are immature individuals. In fact, it usually proves the opposite (a cartoonists need ideas to keep materials flowing, and being open to ideas are needed).

Maturity is a lifelong process. It is so wrong for a person to keep accusing another person of immaturity. After all, immature people will eventually mature. All he needs is time and the right attitude. The right attitude that you need other people to guide you to road called maturity.

I don’t consider myself a mature person. I still have a long way to go. However, I’m not rushing. I’ll learn one step at a time. Admitting what I did wrong and accepting the disciplinary action in front of 100+ plus people is clear indication. Still, a long way to maturity. This is my journey. To those people, be it men and women, who said that I am childish, immature, etc., it’s okay. Like I said, this is my journey. I’ll take your words into consideration, but isn’t it funny that I didn’t meddle in your own journey? Maturity is a lifelong process.

Maturity part 2

5) He is open to other people’s ideas – this doesn’t mean that you’ll accept ALL. This means you’ll take time to listen to another people’s ideas. He’ll not make fun of other people’s ideas simply because it looks “weird”. I remember a cartoonist Gilbert Monsanto. He said to me, “I’ll try to listen to his ideas, maybe he’s got a point”. I can’t help but shake my head every time I encounter people who don’t listen to your ideas or what you are sharing because an idea about you was already established on them. Worse, they’re single ladies!
6) He is able to work on long term goals – parents are good example of this. Now, if you’re starting to think on long term basis, that’s maturity.
7) He is guided by what is right – even if you will become unpopular. I’ve seen both men and women will compromise what is right over popularity. Keep mentioning that homosexuality is sin according to the Bible, you’ll be hated by LGBTs. Not only that, no one or only few will defend you. Recently, I have an experience regarding this in an internet based group. My goodness, no one defended me. When that internet-based group ITSELF was criticized by a member on specific matters, many reacted, the posts being talked about for at least 2 or 3 weeks. Popularity over what is right. Now, I don’t say that you forced what you know is right to others. It’s just that when the time comes that you need to decide what is right – GO ON, even if people will turn their backs. It shows maturity.
8) He is responsible – this means if you did something wrong, have the guts to ADMIT IT. Gender has nothing to do with this. I don’t care if you’re a lady or a gentleman. After admitting, negotiate your way in what ways you can demonstrate your being responsible. Say “sorry” when it is needed. Personally, I admire people who admits their mistakes and underwent the consequence of it (discipline) more than a person who keeps on hiding his mistakes, even using friends to hide it, just to look neat and presentable, and, no offense, spiritual. The latter indicates immaturity. The former indicates the opposite.
9) He is independent – this is in general term. Yes, it’s not wrong to accept other people’s ideas especially if you think it would be the best choice, but NOT ALL THE TIME. Being independent doesn’t mean you’ll move out of your parent’s house because you don’t want to be “dictated”. That’s rebellion. It’s the art of knowing when to accept and not to accept ideas.

Now, let’s go back to the very first paragraph (part 1). Many people, ladies in particular, whether they admit or not focus on the part “...being aware of the correct time and place to behave and knowing when to act in serious or non-serious ways”. However, they neglect what follows after that, especially the ones written in bold letters: “Maturity is something of personal character, or how one acts in stressful or difficult situations, because then a person's true ability to react to a situation can be seen. Additional ways to judge if a person is mature include rational thinking and logical explanation in solving a problem, and the art of reasoning while debating.”

(To be continued...)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Maturity part 1

Maturity – “a psychological term used to indicate that a person responds to the circumstances or environment in an appropriate manner. This response is generally learned rather than instinctual, and is not determined by one's age. Maturity also encompasses being aware of the correct time and place to behave and knowing when to act in serious or non-serious ways. (from Wikipedia) Maturity is something of personal character, or how one acts in stressful or difficult situations, because then a person's true ability to react to a situation can be seen. Additional ways to judge if a person is mature include rational thinking and logical explanation in solving a problem, and the art of reasoning while debating.” (Wikipedia)

Obviously, my post is, again, about maturity. Why I always like to talk about maturity? If you think I will brag that I am mature, you are wrong. I am not. In fact, a handful of people, most especially women, called me “immature”, “childish”, etc. I admit, I find it quite offending because I felt that it’s their way of rejecting a guy that’s not their type. However, I have to accept what they say.
Just recently, the word maturity came to my mind again. Then, it hit me: I’ll read about “maturity”. Thanks to the Internet (One time, when I gave a trivia, that person said, “Wow. You surf the Internet a lot.” I don’t know if it’s a compliment or a belittling of my attitude as a BOOK reader. Whatever. Only that person knows what does she mean when she said that to me).

Now, this will be a long one, so this post will be divided. Before I dwell on the first paragraph of this post, let me share something regarding this topic. According to a psychologist, Douglas Varvil-Weld, Ph.D., a person (let me use the word “he” just for convenience, this doesn’t mean I am hitting on my fellow male species) is mature if (just a summary, my opinion inserted in each number)…

1) He does what he NEEDS to do – this is what we call priorities. Thus, laziness is also a sign of immaturity. If we’ll follow this verbatim, even gossiping in church and office is a sign of immaturity because you are deviating on what you MUST DO.

2) He is patient – this is a no-brainer. A patient person indicates maturity. A patient mentor/trainer knows that his student will eventually improve no matter how long it takes.

3) He is empathic – he can put himself in the shoes of others (not literally, philosophers!). Bluntly, I know people who don’t have a sense of empathy. I am a church guy and I see this. Unfortunately, even outside the church setting, single ladies often accuse men of immaturity when at times they are lacking one characteristic of an emotionally mature person – empathy. What’s my proof? I occasionally hear this line usually said by ladies: “Hey, be a gentleman!” Looking at it deeply, that statement lacks empathy because in the first place, they didn’t take time how heavy the responsibility of a man is inside the church. Empathy can be best seen on good nurses, caregivers, and counselors. No wonder it takes maturity to counsel because of empathy. Are men guilty of not having this? Yes, BUT not ONLY MEN. Women are at times guilty of this. I have told you how some single ladies demand men to “BE A GENTLEMAN”. Church ladies, listen, the mere fact that they’re not reacting that much to your perks show how respectful and empathic Church guys can also be.

4) He is generous/selfless – look at a baby’s hand, his hands are always closed. As he grows older, he’s learning to open his hands. It’s the same thing with maturity. If you learn to give, you are being mature. In Christian faith, generosity is a sign of spiritual maturity.

(To be continued)

Friday, February 6, 2009

The "Bobby Jones" attitude

My favorite sport is basketball. No, I’m not athletically built. In fact, I never made it to our high school varsity team because teachers say I am more academically inclined. A high school coach once told that i will surely improve because of my love for the game, but I will never be a member of a varsity team. I never grew taller than 5’6”. Besides, I don’t have the discipline of an athlete. Putting all of that, it shows that I am not cut out to be a player. Besides, even back then, I am contented just by watching it.

As my favorite sport, my favorite players are not Lebron James, Kevin Garnett, etc. I go for Dirk Nowitzki and Peja Stojakoic. I also go for Pete Maravich, Toni Kukoc and yes, Larry Bird. You guest it, I like shooters. After all, you’ll score if you made the shot. However, what fascinate me other than shooters are players who do the dirty jobs. In Philippine Baskteball Association, what I know who do that is Jun Marzan, Alvin Teng, and Yves Dignadice. It’s like doing the jobs superstars will not do.

Recently, I browsed on the net about basketball players. I came across Robert Clyde "Bobby" Jones. He’s not that familiar, especially if you’re not born in the late 70’s – early 80’s era. He’s a defensive player. He doesn’t do it throwing elbows and things like that, he does defense by hustling. His unselfish way of playing is also admired. Even if his role is a reserve, he’ll take that role, things that I rarely hear and see to pros both here and abroad. After the game is over, he’ll just go out as nothing. Former teammate and one of the NBA 50 greatest Julius Erving once said, “He’s a player who’s totally selfless, who runs like a deer, jumps like a gazelle, plays with his head and heart each night, and then walks away from the court as if nothing happened.” In other words, he is at peace with himself.

With Christian values engraved in him, it came to a point one time that he admitted that he’s the one guilty of foul, not his teammate (most Old Church folk who play ball don’t do that nowadays) or the opponents.

He plays at his best because he believes that no doing your best is un-Christian. Yes, he really did give his best, even if what he’s doing is not usually notice in score board or the committee’s table.

After reading that site about Bobby Jones, it struck me, and I hope it also strike the readers. Are you willing to do the dirty work? Oops, let me rephrase that: are you willing to do a very low profile work? After a very successful activity, be it school, church, or work, do you have the nerve or character to go out of the room as if nothing happened? Do you give your best to the task assigned, even if your department is rarely heard of? If you’re a church person, are you willing to do the low profile ministries? In the old church, being an usher, a janitor, and an artist are what I consider low profile ministries. (Off topic a bit: To be blunt, typical politicians is out of the game here because politics is usually not only a numbers game but also by popularity. In the first place, you will not win the election if you’re POPULAR. Now back the topic).

This message is for every church guys and gals out there, including myself: let’s set aside those egos (if not eliminate) and let’s do our best in what ministries we are assigned. After a days’ work in that Ministry, go home as if nothing happened, even if that day YOU’RE THE MAN/WOMAN. It’s not wrong to celebrate and be festive, but it’s not also wrong to be modest.

Do you have the character to have a “Bobby Jones attitude” in your home, school, office, and ministry?