Last year in spring, one day I received a call from my son mentioning that they have to vacate hostels. Coronavirus has
arrived and precautions were being taken to arrest its spreading. I went to the airport to receive him. We started to wear
masks already. Little did I know that this virus would continue its stay and spread over such a long time. This year we have seen
its severe forms arise and kill with unmatched ferocity in recent times. Work styles changed. Internet became extremely essential.
Work and home maker’s work got mixed. Helps had to stay away. We had to do all work by ourselves. These changes happened suddenly.
Almost all of us have experienced these sudden changes.

How do we deal with such real life situations? Omswami’s one article on maturity I noted describes one aspect of our growth. It is ‘maturity’. My past director
used to say, ‘I don’t worry about you. You are quite mature’. I didn’t expect the appreciation but I quietly listened and moved on.
Years later, I realized the meaning of his statement. Maturity is a single word but it is really about a conglomerate of qualities.
Generally, it is said that as we grow in age, maturity comes along. However, several people have expressed doubts about this automatic
development. Finally when we come to face a situation like Coronavirus pandemic, all our grown maturity is put to severe test.

Apparently, There are three main branches of maturity.
First is about our health, physical health. Literature is abundant about various risk factors coming into action with growth in age.
Aging itself is a risk factor but it is not modifiable. Other factors include diet, physical exercises, polluted air and so on. It is
noteworthy that much of these risk factors are modifiable. What came to my realization is that a mature way of a judicious mix of austere
and luxury is definitely required in order to fight the pandemics like Covid. Regular biochemical tests are informative and actionable.
In my wife’s organization, one day in a year they have a health run and full body check up.
This may be not sufficient for a fit physical health but it is certainly sensitizing. Health is wealth. Therefore a mature understanding
of physical health maintenance requires knowledge from literature, doctors, nutritionists and good freinds. The trick is finding a judicious
mix of austere and luxury. The bottom line is avoid or delay as many complex medical conditions as possible.

Second is about mental health. Somehow, mental health apparently is neglected area. Aside from the usual feeling that ‘nothing wrong mentally’
there isn’t as much awareness created about fit mental health. Apaprently, the main facet of mental health we need to nurture
is ‘courage’. Over many years I realized that courage cannot be nurtured in vacuum. It can only be nurtured with knowledge, acceptance of
changing reality, respect for self and skills for doing work. This means reading books, connecting and living in presence, and learning various
skills. Reading books is personal choice and many books are available online. Living in presence requires
continuous shifting meaning adaptation. This is quite tough. As pointed out that the most adaptable species survives, adaptation is to be
given immense importance. This requires shift in mind and the shift requires ‘courage’.

Third is Spiritual Development. Normally in our materialistic world of rigorous science work, spirituality doesn’t figure. There is a lot of
incomplete understanding about spiritual development. However, the point made referred to in this context is that ‘change’ is inevitable. One
may trace back this generality to already written texts. Without going into that we can simply accept that change can come and sometimes it comes
unannounced. Part of maturity is to accept this generality and this acceptance needs all of the points referred to above. For example, if the Bank
policy has changed to ask for different documents, then this requires acceptance and submission of the required items. When we have largely started
to work online then there is a shift in work style and requirements. However, we would require to absorb the learn’t knowledge and application.
Further, systems do develop faults from time to time. These are changes we would need to accept.

Bottom line is that maturity is not automatic. Its growth requires hard work upwards. Science has much to offer in this hard work. Evidence based
recommendations are to be given importance. I thought I shall share my learning with you.

Stay healthy, wealthy and happy !

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Srinivasan Ramachandran

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