Updated: Jan 8
Last night at our weekly Gather 2gether in The Listening House, we got onto a really fascinating discussion about the definition of the word "mature", and who sets the boundaries or benchmark for measuring whether someone is mature or not. (I imagine that there is a precise standard for cheese or wine...).
Which led us to wondering whether in fact it was all about comparison - we often say that somebody can be "mature for their age" but that is probably in relation to other people of the same age. Again, what defines what is mature and what is not?
Beth (my co-partner at The Listening House) and I had an equally fascinating conversation today about a word that provokes a bit of a reaction in me. It stemmed from a question that Dragons Den new dragon Steven Bartlett posed on social media earlier today regarding asking yourself some questions around who you are, what you want, what you need, what you value and what you deserve. It was this last one that gave me the reaction. I expressed my distaste for the word "deserve", as, for me, it brings up the notion that we are all entitled to things (something that honestly feels like a disease of the modern world). We talked around it at length, and again this idea of what traits, values and actions qualify for that entitlement, for something being worthy and therefore deserving, came up. Who decides for example what qualifies someone to be worthy of love, of success etc. Are we all deserved of those things? Even those people who do bad things, or who do nothing, put in no effort, no time, no work?
For those people who believe in a higher power (such as God), it is probably that higher power who decides. And if that is the case, how do they let us mere mortals know? And for those that don't believe in a higher power, are we not worthy at all? I know how I feel about this last question, and it will undoubtedly not be the same as others may feel.
I feel that there are probably many ways in which it is society (and usually the patriarchy) who set the measures, the boundaries, the definitions. For me, that doesn't make them right. For me, there would likely be an ulterior motive to these being set. I reckon, like values and morals, these measures and boundaries are probably a deeply personal thing.
I reckon that this subject will come up again and again, as I'm sure there plenty more words of this ilk to be discussed. And whilst we didn't come up with any answers last night by the way, we did leave with a fascinating sense of having explored something. And if life is all about the journey rather than the destination, then surely we can just simply enjoy the art of the conversation without it having reached a definite conclusion?
Thank you for listening.
*if you enjoy the themes of these musings and would like to learn more, or join in similar conversations, please head over to The Listening House www.atthelisteninghouse.com