Monday, February 9, 2009

The criteria of emotional maturity

I saw this short list posted on my aunt's desk. Hmmm, quite interesting. Check it out and see if you have already fulfilled these criteria. As for me, I still got a long way to go, baby!

The Criteria of Emotional Maturity

by William C. Menninger, M.D.

The ability to deal constructively with reality

The capacity to adapt to change

A relative freedom from symptoms that are produced by tensions and anxieties

The capacity to find satisfaction in giving than receiving

The capacity to relate to other people in a consistent manner with mutual satisfaction and helpfulness

The capacity to sublimate, to direct one's instinctive hostile energy into creative and constructive outlets

The capacity to love

There you go. Seems like the last criterion is the simplest one and I thought, "Hey, I could do that!" But eventually I came to realize it is in fact the most difficult thing to do. Because love is encompassing and this love does not only pertain to romantic love, which is most likely our instinctive reaction after reading the last criterion.

It actually could be referring to brotherly love, sisterly love, the love we have for our family, for that matter, love for our friends, our significant others, our love for our Savior, the love we have for our neighbors, our pets, and even the love we have for ourselves, which I think more often than not is something that we leave out. (We don't love ourselves as much as we ought to probably because we do not have that kind of body, that type of nose, that skin color, or we are not as slim as we want to be, or as perfect as we want to be.) It could also be the love we have for what we do and the love we have for the community we belong to.

This criterion actually challenges us to love anyone or anything - lovable or not. I therefore conclude that the simplest (sounding at that, actually) criteria is actually the toughest one to comply to. That is, if we try to think of it and fulfill it in the most holistic sense - that our minds and our hearts can fathom. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone :-)

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