Adulthood comes at different times in people's lives. Sometimes its when you're 18, sometimes when you're 15 or sometimes when you're 55. Some people never reach adulthood.
I believe being a "grown-up" demands a certain level of maturity. It's not just owning a house or having a job. Every adult may not be at the same level of maturity in each area of their lives. Some adults are better at dealing with rude people; others better at standing up for justice. But what is the common denominator in all adult behavior?
My answer: a general regard for others before themselves.
True, we all have our moments of childish behavior. Everyone slips now and again. But I've noticed that people generally fall into an attitude of selfishness or an aim toward selflessness.
There is always a range, a journey if you will, of people moving toward selflessness (some slower than others), but I find our culture and our society has established a certain level in which we consider people selfless enough to be considered adults.
Perhaps my thoughts stem from my experiences as a young adult, as I spend most of my time with people from their late teens to mid-thirties. Most of the people I observe seem to be so utterly preoccupied in their own story, only taking time out of their lives for others when its convenient for them or when it helps them. I yearn to be in a crowd of people who genuinely want to live lives that point toward someone other than themselves.
Hopefully this improves with age, as time and experience does seem to help. The cynical side of me has my doubts.
I struggle with selfishness. I'm not sure whether I've reached adulthood yet, but I want to get there. I'm constantly reminding myself that I don't matter. Its not about me. Someday, I hope it will stick for good.
Soli Deo Gloria.
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