This poetry was given to me many years ago by Willie Egir, former editor of the oldest African American newspaper in America, The Amsterdam News, Harlem, New York:
Maturity is the ability to control anger and settle differences without violence or destruction. Maturity is patience. It is the willingness to pass up immediate pleasure in favor of the long-term gain. Maturity is perseverance, the ability to sweat out a project or a situation in spite of heavy opposition and discouraging setbacks. Maturity is the capacity to face unpleasantness and frustration, discomfort and defeat, without complaint or collapse. Maturity is humility. It is being big enough to say “I was wrong”. And when right, the mature person need not experience the satisfaction of saying, “I told you so”. Maturity is the ability to make a decision and stand by it. The immature spend their lives exploring endless possibilities; then they do nothing. Maturity means dependability, keeping one’s word, coming through in a crisis. The immature are masters of the alibi. They are the confused and disorganized. Their lives are a maze of broken promises, former friends, unfinished business and good intentions that somehow never materialize. Maturity is the art of living in peace with that which we cannot change, the courage to change that which should be changed and the wisdom to know the difference.