There is an enemy that is probably in most homes throughout the world. You may not see this enemy but it has broken up families and is the cause of much suffering and unhappiness. This enemy remains hidden from our sight but it is time to open our eyes and take a good look at this villain.
This villain has a name and it goes by the name emotional immaturity. Very few people know anything about it and it is rarely understood. It is not something that is taught in schools but it should be starting in the first year. It should be taught at home beginning as early as possible, which means before the children are sent off to school.
There is a real secret to happiness but it is not being taught. How can it be when the parents and teachers who should be teaching it are emotionally immature themselves? Emotional maturity is the real distinguishing mark to a truly educated person. It is something that should have been instilled in children while growing up, and taught as a basic course in all colleges.
So what is emotional maturity? One author defines it as a development from the state of taking to the state of giving. A little baby knows only how to take. It is human nature to take. Humans know absolutely nothing at birth and a baby responds only to the nature within him. They reach out to take whatever attracts or tempts them.
We need to be taught to give. It is something that does not come naturally to humans and therefore has to be learned. However, how many begin teaching this principle from the beginning or as soon as they should?
Human beings are actuated by their emotions and never stop to ask or analyze them. The definition of emotion is a strong feeling, disturbance or departure from the normal calm state of rational thinking and acting. An impulse toward an action which has not been reasoned and approved by the mind. Such emotions are feelings or impulses as anger, disgust, fear, grief, joy, surprise, and yearning.
Next of kin to emotions is our moods. An emotionally immature person is usually one who is moody and has never learned to control their moods. Instead they let their emotions control them.
We have the ability to acquire knowledge and with the capacity to reason from it. With our minds we think, plan and make decisions. With our minds we can direct our actions. We must first learn to do this to achieve emotional maturity. So using knowledge and wisdom we can direct the mind to take the correct course of action.
So many people act as if they are merely dumb brutes. Enjoying life sensations, emotions and moods as impulses without giving any thought or mental directions to them. They can store knowledge of mathematics, history, literature and science. They can have knowledge of facts about many things such as the earth, sun and the moon and stars. Yet never acquired the knowledge about themselves or their moods, feelings, impulses and desires. Never stopping to study and analyze them let alone learn to control them.
Children are being bought up pampered, petted, spoiled and permitted to have their way. Never being taught self-restraint, self control or to understand their moods and feelings. Never learning how to control them or to guide them to sound reasoning but instead impulsively following their emotions without mental direction. Then once grown and married never have learned how to control their emotions they allow them to dominate their actions never wisely directing them. Marriages are broken up and lives are wrecked. Not only has the emotional immaturity caused suffering to them but to others as well.
They allow their emotions to dominate them and their minds so that they are unable to rationally understand and therefore become warped and distorted in their perceptions. While they physically grew and their bodies are fully grown, they never grew up emotionally. They are mentally mature as far as the world’s education goes but sadly they are emotionally still a child. The great tragedy of the generations is perhaps one half of them never grow up emotionally.
The time to start this emotional growing up should start the same time that mental training is begun. It should start at home with the parents studying their own children’s emotions. They need to teach them to control behaviors of tempers, impulses, anger, jealousy, hatred, fear, resentment, selfishness and vanity. Guide them in the direction of giving and love toward others.
Yelling, loud talking, bursts of temper and rudeness are all lack of emotional growing up. Emotional immaturity is simply allowing the human nature to run away without any control of reasoning. Teach them to use the mind and to direct their natures properly and wisely.
Emotional maturity does not mean emotionless maturity any more than it means uncontrolled emotions. An emotionally grown up does express enthusiasm, joy and happiness. They do feel and express gratitude, reverence and adoration. They express compassion, mercy and sympathy. On occasion they will express sorrow or anguish. These sums up to an educated mind combine with emotionally mature mind that don’t allow emotions to rule them when they are leading them in the wrong direction.