Maturity is learning to walk away from people and situations that threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, values, morals or self-worth.

Maturity is learning to walk away from people and situations that threaten your peace of mind, self-respect, values, morals or self-worth.

Why is it so hard, sometimes, to just walk away?

When we feel affronted, we seem to have a need to rectify the situation.

Sometimes it is pride. Other times, dignity. And even other times, a childish need to prove something, regardless of consequence or outcome.

But… to what end?

Are we actually better for having done so, or are we just fulfilling a human need to stand up for ourselves, what is right, or another living thing, or entity and their rights?

There is tremendous satisfaction in telling someone off. It actually feels great.

For about 10 minutes.

Every minute thereafter, those satisfied feelings slowly dissolve into regret. The regret multiplies over time, until eventually, the choice to have rebutted any form of situation that is confrontational dissolves into remorse and sadness.

Perhaps, over time, we are conditioned through the remorse to grow and discover that the intense 10 minutes of satisfaction in the heat of the moment is heavily outweighed by the hours/days/years of remorse. Perhaps as we suffer that remorse, our maturity might evolve a notch or two in order that we prevent ourselves from slipping into that abyss again.

This morning, as I was choosing which aphorism I wished to muse upon, I was weighing this one against one that says “Don’t let anyone get comfortable disrespecting you.” The meme I found this one on was written over the intense face of an angry black panther. It is a very cool image and seductive in the thought process.

So I contemplated that against the one that I chose. Are they not two sides of the same coin? 

In some respects yes, but in others, no. 

Is it smart to allow others to disrespect you? In broad strokes, no. In human ego perspective, absolutely not. In perspective of a more mature, zen lifestyle, perhaps today’s aphorism is the wiser choice. People can disrespect you to your face, behind your back, or publicly on any form of media. Is there a lot you can do about it? In some cases, the choice to discuss that disrespect with another party may be handled with decorum and diplomacy. It may be a straight conversation in which the other party is not aware of how they are doing this and how their actions are making you feel. So, a polite discussion is most certainly a first consideration.

Failing that, it is more likely that there is intent behind their choices and your polite discussion is going nowhere. In fact, if they have a bully mindset, the more you show that this disturbs you, the more desire is fueled within them to act in similar manner. 

Instead, the mature approach of just walking away silently proves more often than not to be the solution. It has far less initial satisfaction. You do not get that 10 minutes of rage to put them in their place. You do not get to see that they now know that you are not to be trifled with. BUT…. You also do not get the remorse and repercussions from having done so. Further, you have left them in a state of wondering. They may think you are scared, or chicken, or any other adjective… so what? Do you really care what they think? They have just shown you what they think. So perhaps you are wiser to stay mature and leave it alone.

One day, further down the road, you will look back at that situation that you just walked away from and you will know you made the right choice. It will not have the same satisfaction as being the angry black panther and showing them that they can never disrespect you. And you know what?  That’s actually ok. 

Happy Thursday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!