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Thread: What is Maturity? Growing Up? Adulthood? (a Philosophical Question)

  1. #1

    Default What is Maturity? Growing Up? Adulthood? (a Philosophical Question)

    This is not a literal question, and this not a rhetorical question. This is a philosophical question. I want everyone to step outside of their box and think about what it really means to "grow up." What does maturity mean in the philosophical sense and in the eyes of modern social norms.

    Here is my answer:

    First some background. We are born, we live through those early years. We make those developmental milestones, we learn to walk, to talk, and to eat and drink by ourselves. We potty train. However, that is talking about maturity in the literal sense. We grow up hearing a series of words and statements that we didn't think much of at the time, but they stir up some deep philosophical questions when we stop and really think about them. "you're too young." "Aren't you a little old to be doing that?" "You'll understand when you're older." "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids." People would say. You age and grow old. You go from liking flashy and creative stuff with designs on them to simple stuff that looks plain and boring. from princess dresses to designer jeans, from trick-or-treating to costume parties, and from the playground to the office.

    All of you better get your upscaled car seats and booster seats, and strap on your 5 point restraints because we're going for a wild ride down the good ol' rabbit hole and we ain't gonna stop til' we reach the bottom!

    We learn the very first thing in our early years that is part of this underlying problem. We learn that diapers are for babies. We later learn that diapers for old people as well, but they get a special kind of upscaled diaper with 4/6 tapes and no cute designs. We learn many more symptoms of this problem as we age and "grow up." Our young minds are creative and carefree. We are free spirits.

    Tell me, when did you stop enjoying recess in school? 4th grade? 5th grade? when you entered middle school? junior high?

    When was the last time you got to enjoy exploring a Mcdonald's playplace?

    What age did your parents make you stop trick-or-treating?

    Why are light up shoes only marketed mainstream to kids and not all ages?

    Why does most clothing marketed towards adults look so bland and boring? Uncomfortable high heels? solid colors? duochrome or triochrome sneakers with uninspired and yawn inducing designs? Yuck!

    Adult clothing and bedding, etc. We need to ask ourselves, do we really "like" this stuff or are we conditioned to just accept it as the norm of "adult" life?

    We find that as adults we are censored, our true selves are not the stressed out hard-working adults we grow up to become. What is stopping us from expressing our creativity and innocence? Society..................

    Our expression is constantly censored by modern society's perception of what is and isn't ok to say or do.

    It seems that as we "grow up" are taught to submit and obey, to become cogs in the machine rather than our own person. We sacrifice our creativity and innocence to achieve "maturity."

    We "can't" wear shoes like these in our size: Stride Rite Sleeping Beauty Lighted Mary Jane (Toddler/Little Kid): Shoes because it's "childish."

    We cannot trick-or-treat past age 13 or 14 or whatever because Halloween and trick-or-treating are fun traditions reserved only for those younger than whatever arbitrary age limit your average person sets. We go along with this because of whatever excuse we can come up with to "support" such a ludicrous notion. We give up playgrounds and playing with toys in favor of doing whatever your average adult does in their spare time. To defy this societal norm is blasphemy.

    Then there's us. The AB/DLs, furs, whathaveyou. People complain about youth "growing up too fast" yet when someone fully grown and of sound mind suggest making a return to childhood in some form to feel young again they are socially ostracized if publicly caught and metaphorically burned at the stake. Does it have to be this way?

    What we have here is a social value system disorder. We are trying to cure ourselves of this disorder, but the established status quo believes this is "wrong."

    To them, we are the betrayers. We are betrayers of a culture in decline. We know that in reality we are the heroes, and it is Us who have been betrayed.

    With all that established I can come the only sound conclusion that "maturity" in this sense means simply making your values, actions, and thoughts fall in line with established societal norms on how humans should be have. De facto conventions on what is and isn't appropriate behavior as well what is and isn't ok to believe. every aspect of our lives is controlled by these invisible metaphorical social regulators, regulators that WE created.

    This underlying issue is perhaps the biggest barrier to our acceptance. We need to be willing to spit in the face of these social regulators! We need to redefine what "maturity" means in the eyes of society. We need to fix this underlying issue before can truly be accepted as a community.

    However, the beauty of the rabbit hole is that there's always room to go deeper down, so share your thoughts on the subject.

  2. #2


    Real maturity I think nestles somewhere in the emotional intelligence sphere. And I firmly believe that you can be an emotionally mature adult and still retain a portal into your child self who in many respects doesn't have the same maturity. The joy in this is the ability to hold a firm tether to both simultaneously. I give you, the ABDL what a clever bunch. Well of course I say this assuming that this person has developed a mature emotional state ( either way most are on their way there) it's interesting to me that many people who have dealt with our little point of difference, seem to have a more highly developed or rounded emotional maturity. Many certainly appear more attuned to their own sensitivities and to the needs of others.

    So, grown up... Mature, I guess that means, for me at least, an ability to act appropriately in any given situation, sometimes responsibly reliably and respectfully, other times playfully.

    I tend to agree with the OP, and although I naturally subscribe to my own philosophical viewpoint, I think that the type of behaviour which may be deemed 'grown up' is just that which reflects the wisdom of experience and learning.... Unfortunately society does seem to admonish those who display a childish sense of wonder....@$!" them I say. If you still have the ability to see through childish eyes you are a star, and every day you'll find a new and amazing corner of the universe.

    We are all growing up all the time. Those who are grown up have obviously stopped growing. Sucks to be them I say :p

  3. #3


    There are many different levels of maturity, you can be mature in one aspect and completely immature in another. The thing with society is that it has a knack for putting down anything that is remotely fun or caters to the childish mind of any adult. It was recognized long ago that one should never simply abandon their inner child or rather their sole innocence because its what keeps our imagination alive. People who act like they're the most adult people because they dont partake in childish things or are too brash to be around are just people who have lost their way to something that doesn't even really exist. There is no such thing as perfect maturity and we are all immature and will remain immature in SOME aspect of our lives... But thats not to say that immaturity is always a bad thing.

    Fields of Maturity:

    Emotional - emotional maturity includes being able to not let your feelings control you and overwhelm you.

    Social - Social maturity is being able to have a conversation with someone (be it online or in person) and being able to articulate yourself properly.

    Intellectual - intellectual maturity includes being able to admit when you are wrong and being willing to learn something new. Can also be considered Wisdom, and that famous quote which says "true wisdom is realizing that you know nothing at all."

    Financial - Financial maturity is obviously the ability to handle your finances without being reckless or impulsive.

    Relationship (Love) - Surprisingly enough, there is such a thing as love maturity, and usually men mature faster than women in this category (google it)

    There are more fields of maturity and thats something the world seems to have mixed up, society is often keen on creating black and white explanations for grey situations, and this leads to a skewed world full of people who are immature in more ways than one. Also, because of this, we tend to misread people based on one field of immaturity... I have many friends who think i'm immature because of my ABDL lifestyle and because I'm naive when it comes to trust. I'm easy to put my trust in people and I also get attached to people (not in a stalkerish way, but in a way that if they ever leave me, i will probably be pretty sad about it for a while) and i've been called immature for this too, but consider that not one person has ever called me a traitor or has ever felt abandoned or betrayed by me, because i've never done that to anyone... to a lot of people this may seem more mature. I've also been called immature for being to forgiving, but on the other hand people who I find to be more mature than myself have told me what a strong quality it is to be forgiving of people who have done unspeakable things. So really maturity in its purest aspect is a decision best left to you, because while i have plenty of friends who find me immature, im the only one among them who lives on her own and is married and has a full time job.. so they can call me immature all they want, but it wont change that I have what they want and I worked hard to get it.

    As for the comment about the Mary Jane style shoes... i dont know what you're talking about lol i wear those all the time as well as see other girls wearing them, they are cute. They make those shoes in adult versions and in various different styles and designs lol.

    Honestly though, you can't fix society, just endure it. Or in a more bolder sense, fix society THROUGH endurance. The more people see that its ok to go against the norms of society, the more mature we will become, because if you ask me; becoming a slave to societal norms is what I consider true immaturity, because society doesn't run you or own you, its a bunch of people running scared of change and things they can't explain, so better to just be the pioneer of your own life and your own future, and give hope to those mature enough to look on and look up to you as an example.

  4. #4


    Simply, true maturity is realizing you're not the center of the Universe.

    In some cases, that means realizing that you do not know all the answers and coming to a point where you can admit it. Honestly, it seems to me a lot of people fail at this, and instead still act as though they know everything (or at least more than anyone around them in any situation). You're not the center of the Universe anymore, and simply opening your mouth and making noise come out does not mean that others will, or even should, automatically pay attention to you.

    In some cases, it means acknowledging that things you enjoyed as a kid are no longer feasible for you to do as an adult. I always used to love jumping into piles of leaves. I did it a couple years ago after I'd made a big pile with the leaves in my yard. Unlike when I was a kid, though, it hurt! Likewise, playscapes are kind of out-of-bounds now because I either don't fit or they're super easy now. You're not the center of the Universe anymore. You can't do it all and bounce like kids do because you're not invincible and you understand risks and consequences.

    In some cases, it means adopting the "old ways" and conforming to societal norms. Two good friends of mine recently had to appear in small claims court. Despite both of them being in their early 30s and college graduates, neither of them owned a suit, a tie, or even a proper dress shirt. I ultimately convinced them that although it was "just" small claims court, they needed to at least visit a thrift store and buy themselves suits or at least jackets, and I loaned them both ties. For going to the store or to a cheap diner, one can wear whatever they want. Want to wear a collar, or old superhero t-shirts, or some other thing? Go for it! I've done it, and it can be fun and feel really good. But, you're not the center of the Universe anymore. No one actually cares what superhero or band you like, there are some times in life when you have to wear proper clothes and conform and dress like "the man," and sometimes you cannot just wear any old thing and get away with it because you know better.

    It some cases, it means keeping control of yourself and realizing you can't always get what you want. You're not the center of the Universe anymore. You can't throw a tantrum in the middle of the store because you can't get that thing you want.

    I don't mean to suggest that you have to stop doing all those things-playing in the leaves, wearing certain clothes, wanting certain things. Maturity, in my mind, is realizing that you're not the center of the Universe anymore, that you cannot and should not always stop the rest of the world and get it to pay attention to you, that sometimes you have to stop and pay attention to the rest of the world. Wearing ABDL clothing or a collar or pretty much any other thing to go to the store is fine as far as I'm concerned. The other shoppers can pay attention or not (or put pictures of you online ala People of Walmart) at their discretion, and you won't be stopping the entire world and making it pay attention to you. Conversely, wearing a t-shirt and jeans to court is always inappropriate because it is a formal situation. Doing so signals that you expect everyone else in that situation to pay attention to you, accommodate your unwillingness to dress appropriately, and accept your obvious disrespect for the situation. There are many intelligent people, and certainly there are some more intelligent than you. Sometimes you have to stop and consider what someone else is saying. Maybe the person's just an idiot, but maybe they're really onto something. There are many cool things out there. Sometimes you can disobey and buy an item that you've been told you're not allowed, but other times you have to stop for the Universe, lest you encounter the wrath of your spouse, the lack of funds, or the consequences to your health or well-being.

  5. #5


    Maturity... accepting social norms, no... being able to see clearly that you're not the center of the world, I don't know...

    It just doesn't seem to be that way. I mean perhaps this would be true maturity in the end, to know how your actions may benefit or hurt other people, so that you're able to take decisions for the better, although also willingly for the worse.

    Still, that wouldn't be mature as how we use it usually, although perhaps most people are not simply, since a human being is selfish. Or at least most are. It's our nature, the competition and the ruthlessness of natural selection drives us. A human being wants to have the best for itself, a chief concern for his own interests. On the other hand, if we wouldn't do that or if you don't look out for your own interests then who would?
    A natural amount of being selfish doesn't hurt, or perhaps also a bit of being egocentric. Especially for people which tend to underrate themselves it does not hurt for trying to be a egocentric at least once. It's a compensation for people with a too big ego in general.
    Some people are also surely a small center... they're like a magnet. I mean simply charismatic people, due to a polarizing personality. So you either way love them or hate them, nothing in between.

    Anyway, we grow up, we all do and ultimately we try to fit into social standards more or less. And that would be where I'd place most things and not into being, forcefully, mature.
    Especially fashion is a thing that comes and goes. It's different of course for childs, teenagers, and later on it's even splitted into different categories that depend on your social status and/or your work place. Especially in the business field it can be horrible, it's just crazy sometimes... yeah a black dress, but some people remember how the pinstripes from each designer collection looks like. And this can be a major fact sometimes if you want to be a part of certain groups.
    But fashion changes over time, and luckily we don't wear the things that some present on stage. Who would wear that? Some with a horrible taste probably, but they're already running around like that, either way with strange looking designer clothes or with grandma's underwear.
    Ohh! I mentioned underwear, so don't forget one thing. At least in this case it's no biggie if a girl still likes to buy socks or other stuff in the children's department, at least for your "lazy look".
    And secondly we have street fashion. And I say it's good that we have that. So who knows, perhaps some are willing to combine childish clothes with other stuff and at some point it may be a new trend.

    If you want to fit perfectly, a bit, or not at all into social standards is up to each one individually. Some drown in the mainstream, some are that much against it, that they're that much in the social norm again, so they don't even see it. And some try to change it as much as possible.
    But in the end at some points you simply have to go with it, to survive or to accomplish what you wanted to in the beginning.

    Really being mature... I'd say it's self-awareness.
    Childs are desire driven. They want to do... what they wanna do, but they learn to be aware, more or less. A lot of adults are surely still in that process about what it means to be responsible, to be aware of what it means. And anyway itís not easy to stay true to yourself if you donít know who you are.
    However, we may get to know ourselves, we learn what we like and what not. What we want to reach perhaps someday, and what our strengths are to accomplish this, as also what we can't do due to our weaknesses. Although perhaps we learn how to hide or compensate them too.
    Being aware of things... so also that we may need to pretend to fit into a certain place, even if we wouldn't, since we know it's better to play along sometimes too. That's it, I think.

  6. #6


    As a baby you are totally dependent on others for your welfare and survival. As you get older you want more freedom, more independence, but the freedom you desire requires a show of responsibilty on your part and you are still largely dependent on others for food, shelter, health, and education. Getting older yet, you want to be able to make all your own choices on the fundamental issues in your life so you strive to become completely independent and self supporting. Somewhere along the line you realize other people are dependent on you. Maturity is the acceptance of this realization.

  7. #7


    OK I have been mulling this over for several days now and think I finally have an answer that fits my personal understanding of philosophy.

    According to my understanding of Hobbs one is mature when they have the ability to understand and function within the social covenants that have been set forth by the masses for living above the basic natural law. Maturity is being able to make judgement as to the meaning of social law and conform to the expectations of the community.

    From that point ones actions should be beneficial to the maintenance of social order. As long as ones personal activities does not interfere with social order there is no consequence to the individual. If one does not conform to the social covenant then they are an outcast, work to change the covenant to better the social order, or not capable to gain maturity.

    I hope that makes since.


  8. #8

  9. #9


    A child is "i" centered and the adult is "u" centered. Although I've crossed paths with many adults that are advanced intellectually, yet behind socially. They are missing many marks of the maturity they should possess.

    Everything is coming at kids sooner today than it did 10-20-30 years ago. Children today have been exposed to so much more, so much sooner than I was exposed to as a child.

    Children have also been stunted in their emotional maturity. There is more time required for them in order to "grow up" and achieve the responsibility needed for adulthood.

    Scientists are getting new insights that explain why maturation is a challenge for today's teens. For example, from age 11-14, kids lose some of the connections in cells that enable them to make good decisions.

    The brain goes from a process of pruning; a time of saturating and taking in information that morphs a child's brain into an adult's brain. This will result in mood swings, ill cooperation, and irresponsibility. It is believed until this pruning process is complete, it is difficult for one to carry about in a "mature" demeanor.

    Psychology today claimed that the signs to look for in regards of healthy maturity are as follows:

    1.) A mature person is able to keep long-term commitments.
    2.) A mature person is unshaken by flattery or criticism.
    3.) A mature person possesses a spirit of humility.
    4.) A mature person’s decisions are based on character not feelings.
    5.) A mature person expresses gratitude consistently.
    6.) A mature person knows how to prioritize others before themselves.
    7.) A mature person seeks wisdom before acting.

    (This has been paraphrased. View the full article here: The Marks of Maturity | Psychology Today)

  10. #10


    When I think of maturity I think of it mainly as responsibility and "a time and place for everything". So being responsible--supporting yourself financially, taking care of yourself, handling your finances well, etc (and obviously having knowledge needed for these things). And then knowing how you should act, dress, etc in in certain situations/environments. Basically what GoldDragonAurkarm, when over thoroughly. I don't see it as what videos games you play, or what TV shows/movies you watch or what your hobbies are, etc.

    But maybe also a desire and willingness to continually learn and grow. To become the strongest version of yourself (taking this from Elliott Hulse). Right now I'm at a point where I need to change a lot--become more mature, smarter, more skilled, etc. And I am hoping to become someone that will continue to become smarter, stronger, etc until I am very old or dead. Basically, to always be growing.

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