9 May 2021

On Maturity

Maturity –The period of time in your life after your physical growth has stopped and you are fully developed.

At least, that is what the dictionary says. But maturity encompasses much more. To be mature means that you are able to face up to reality, to have deep introspection of self, and when that introspection reveals flaws or uncomfortable truths, to be wise enough to accept them, change behaviour to correct them, and to grow. Developing maturity is the beginning of wisdom.

Trinidadians, with their laissez-faire attitude have never learnt to be mature. When faced with uncomfortable truths about themselves, they become aggressive and belligerent. I often wonder whether it is because they cannot or would not accept adult ideas. The maturity is reflected in their behaviour, of course.

We therefore come to the crux of the matter. Amidst all the complaints and grumblings over the latest Covid 19 lockdown, we can see the immaturity shining through, if we are mature enough to look for and recognise and face it.

Had people behaved in a mature manner, there would be no need for a lockdown at this time. There might not have been full freedoms pre-pandemic, but certainly not the tight noose that is imposed now. The freedom to move and to party and to mix and mingle guaranteed under the Constitution does NOT mean one must exercise those freedoms in an immature manner, as we saw over the past few months, especially over the Easter weekend.

But the issues of immaturity do not only apply to the people. They also apply to the so-called ‘leaders’ of society, the politicians, the police, the 1% as they fondly call themselves. We have seen Faris Al-Rawi, an alleged lawyer who occupies the post of Attorney General and a TV host called Alexander who moonlights as a policeman, behave with unique and distinct immaturity. Absent of course is that ability to introspect and learn. Al-Rawi may be a poodle by nature, but Alexander is another Rottweiler who prefers attacking with little (or no) justification, or provocation.

Many a word has been written on the need for reflection in learning and in gaining wisdom and maturity (Kolb, Gibbs, Atkins & Murphy et al). That learning bypasses the typical Trinidadian as, unfortunately, exposure to these come not at secondary school but at tertiary education where the majority of citizens do not end up. One can only wonder then whether the new (and old) Rott and the poodle have been so exposed.

Speaking of the old Rott, to quote his very own words, ‘All it takes is one fool…’.

Time has of course, proven him right after his own immature behaviour caused 30+ people to go into quarantine. Did he directly contribute to the death of one smiling colleague? If he did, it is well covered up. The PNM’s ability to hide things under the carpet is well known but the little pile of rubbish there has grown to mountainous proportions over the years and the party’s elite have no maturity to see or recognise the leaks coming out.

Coming back to the issue of maturity, Trinidadians should not be surprised at the harsher measures imposed on them. I predicted this months ago, when I wrote that stupidity kills. When you can’t learn willingly, discipline must be enforced upon you. The entire animal kingdom is rife with examples, so I need not go into details here. But the old age is true – those who can’t hear, will feel.

It seems even maturity and self-directed learning must be ‘beaten’ into thick skulls.