Strength of Character: Emotional Maturity

By Sudha Dixit

Ralph Waldo Emerson had said “Your own mind is a sacred enclosure into which nothing harmful can enter except by your permission.” The chinks in your armour is the evidence that you have allowed harmful elements to enter your mind. Why some people permit this to happen & why some stand firm & fight it out? Here comes the strength of character & maturity of a person’s mind. It is believed that along with physical & intellectual growth a person would automatically achieve mental and emotional growth. That’s simply not true. A person may be six feet tall, healthy and good in studies. But, when he goes on an impulsive adventure, disregarding  traffic rules,  eve teasing or hunting  endangered species in the name of fun, he has not actually evolved mentally and emotionally. Maturity means being responsible not brash; because brashness does not sustain anybody in the hour of crisis.

 Seemingly brave, macho, cheerful and carefree people have often been found crumbling at the first sign of disaster. We have seen bullies stammering in front of authorities. Joke savvy especially practical jokers, sadists sulking if the joke is on them. We have witnessed breezy and light hearted go getters cowering and worried sick when faced with any crisis they come across.

 Where does the bravado disappear? Why the humor darkens? Why the sprightliness pales Vis –a – Vis a calamity (minor or major)? The reason for all this is the superficiality of character & immaturity of their mental growth. Such people only play to the gallery. Macho man and heart throb of millions, Salman Khan broke into sobs when the court announced him guilty and sentenced him to five years of jail. The curious fans and supporters present in the court room were taken aback. Where was their hero, their ‘Dabang’? Who was this weak and vulnerable man? The mask was down, the fans were disillusioned.

 Mahatma Gandhi, when shot, said ‘Hey Ram’. Indira Gandhi, the strongest woman in the world cried ‘Arre maar dala’ (Oh I am killed) in similar circumstances. The different reactions reveal the difference in their characters.

 Khushwant Singh, till the age of ninety four kept writing humour with alacrity while he was not even able to walk without support. Devendrnath Thakur got his PhD at the age of seventy six, when most people give up on life and learning. Milkha Singh at eighty four is still running strong. The list is long. On the other hand, we find, even younger people losing the battle and taking refuge in alcohol or other drugs. That is escapism. You cannot escape your monster unless you turn around and face it. Sometimes problems do not require solution to solve them; they require maturity to outgrow them. We need firm roots and strong wings to develop mental & emotional strength. And most important thing is having a goal. Absence of a definite goal leaves one disoriented. If there is a ‘why’ to live in one’s life, one can always find the ‘how’. Education, lineage, childhood experience, social culture, peer pressure and religious teachings etc are the components that build one’s character. All one needs is to be decisive & responsible and able to fight one’s own battle. Success is never permanent or final and failure is never fatal. Abraham Lincoln has said I am not bound to win, I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed but I am bound to live up to the light I have.

About The Author:  Sudha Dixit is from Lucknow and studied at Aligarh Muslim Univ., Lucknow Univ. and Banaras Hindu University. She currently resides in Bangalore. She writes articles, poems in both Hindi & English. Her hobbies include painting and reading.

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