ART BY SHIRLEEN KWONG
By COLLEEN GAPUZAN
If your best friend jumped off a cliff, would you?
As cliche as this may sound, it begs the question of societal influence, and the genuine impact it has towards young people.
As we grow and develop, individuals discover the crucial vitality of emotional maturity and emotional intelligence, as well as the pivotal role it plays in truly being able to live one’s life to the fullest.
In a society so caught up in being influenced by others, especially at a young age, individuals lack the proper skill set to maintain grounded to who they are. Though it might seem like we are rock solid in our beliefs, we often compromise due to what society or what our friends label as acceptable. In other words, the negligence of emotional maturity and intelligence can ultimately make or break a person’s individuality, initiating a domino effect into unfavorable situations.
To illustrate, like most teenagers, my stubbornness to admit my own personal shortcomings can be overwhelming. With the battle of desire over sense constantly waging war against each other, our priorities can sometimes be challenged, resulting in us choosing what we think is best. Nevertheless, if you decide to be swayed by negative influences, the impact it makes on who you are as your own person can be utterly detrimental.
Subsequently, by staying true to yourself and abiding by your own moral standards, as opposed to giving in to please others on their own terms can ultimately pave the way for genuine, emotional maturity and intelligence.
Let’s face it. As much as we want to believe that others don’t have the constant capability to influence us, we’re all human. Consequently, we fall short in the conflict of trying to please others versus standing up for what we genuinely believe in. For instance, when we have honest viewpoints on certain situations that we know to be morally right, but choose to keep it to ourselves due to possible judgement or backlash, we interfere with our character—halting personal growth.
Even though it is a given that we don’t gain full emotional maturity overnight, the process of humbly acknowledging our weaknesses, with the intention of learning from them evidently signifies growth in becoming much better versions of ourselves.
As I reflect, for me personally, it is safe to say that I have come to know the importance of emotional maturity and its role in shaping who we are. While I have made numerous strides in becoming the person that I truly want to be, it is also a life-long process that I continually need to be mindful of every single day.
By staying true to who you are, not only does it grant personal development and maturity, but only then will you be able to fully reap the benefits of living for yourself, as opposed to others’ approval.
So, newsflash: don’t jump off the cliff—hang glide instead.