A short reflection on maturity.
— By Lester L. Polk

“The older I get, the smarter my mother becomes,” was an adage repeatedly declared by my fourth-grade teacher. The saying made no sense to the ten-year-old me, but now I find it overflowing with much wisdom.

When we’re young, our journey consists of just going along without making preparations, asking for instructions or seeking directions. No wonder we end up lost.

But wisdom can be found in our mistakes. By getting lost and finding our own way back, we gain experience. Once we gain that, we are able to acquire the maturity that will guide us in our various journeys from that point on.

Being lost, of course, is not nearly as much fun as getting where we want to go, just as telling someone off is not as effective as proper communication, or quitting a job is not as gratifying as paying rent, or realizing that sex has consequences far beyond climax. When we get tired of being lost, maturity informs us that we are not indestructible so we better take it easy.

In my youth, I lacked the wisdom, experience and maturity to guide me in my journey, but I’m hearing my mother’s voice more and more lately.

This time I think I’ll listen.

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