No. 749

In his excellent book, “The Laws of Success,” author Sterling W. Sill discusses a series of 48 natural laws and the effect each one has on our personal lives. They cover the gambit all the way from the Law of Abundance to the Law of Words, with the Law of Chance, Experience, Fear, Free Agency, Love, Loyalty, Reason, Self-control, Teaching, Will and countless others in between. I can promise you this -- if you had a working knowledge of each of these laws, you would have a pretty good education. One of these natural laws not named above affects each of us – it is the Law of Maturity.
Here is the first paragraph of the Law of Maturity chapter, as written by Sterling Sill. “At the beginning of this century a man named Stanford Benet made a study of the fact that all people do not mature at the same rate. He discovered that at a certain chronological age, the normal child can be expected to do certain things. If at that age the child is still unable to do the expected things, he is termed retarded; that is, he is younger on the mental scale of growth. If he can do more than the normal, his mental age is advanced. Benet invented the ‘Intelligence Quotient’ or IQ, a table by which to measure mental age.”
Now for a practical application that should benefit each of us. Our goal, as human beings, should be to become more mentally mature with the passing of time. A friend sent me a yellowed newspaper clipping on the topic of maturity some time ago and I have no idea who wrote it or in what newspaper it was published. Just see if you see yourself anywhere in this article. “Maturity is many things. First it is the ability to base a judgment on the Big Picture — the Long Haul. It means being able to pass up the fun-for-the-minute and select the course of action which will pay off later. One of the characteristics of infancy is the ‘I want it NOW approach’. Grown-up people can wait.
“Maturity is the ability to stick with a project or a situation until it is finished. The adult who is constantly changing jobs, changing friends and changing mates – is immature. He has not grown up. Everything seems to turn sour after awhile. Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness, frustration, discomfort and defeat without complaint or collapse. The mature person knows he can’t have everything his own way. He is able to adjust circumstances, to other people – and to time. Maturity is the ability to live up to your responsibilities and this means being dependable. It means keeping your word. And dependability equates with personal integrity. Do you mean what you say – and say what you mean?
“The world is filled with people who can’t be counted on, people who never seem to come through in the clutches and people who break promises and substitute alibis for performance. They show up late – or not at all. They are confused and disorganized. Their lives are a chaotic maze of unfinished business. Maturity is the ability to make a decision and stand by it. Immature people spend their lives exploring endless possibilities and then do nothing. Action requires courage. And there is no maturity without courage.
“Maturity is the ability to harness your abilities and your energies and do more than is expected. The mature person refuses to settle for mediocrity. He would rather aim high and miss the mark than aim low and miss it.”
Well, how about that? To me, that’s a fantastic article and contains at least some reminders of things we can all use in our pursuit of maturity.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)