Child psychologist Lewis Lipsitt once said
“We mature, when what we once assumed to know
takes on more subtlety and nuance,
thus changes in meaning.”
The word “making art” used to mean
Being stubborn or egocentric
enough to get away with bullshit.
So I used to despise art.
But after 4 years of realizing empathy with artists,
the word changed in meaning to
Letting go of our ego
to learn from others
on how to uncover & express our sincere honesty.
Words necessarily change in meaning as we mature.
parenting & leadership
will change in meaning
as we mature
as parents & leaders.
So will words like
or marketing and sales.
This is no coincidence.
We tend to think that people our parents’ age are already mature.
I once coached a CEO in her late 60s.
She’d bring up what her deceased mother did to her decades ago.
She so wanted, but struggled, to empathize with her.
During our sessions, what helped her empathize was to surface new subtleties and nuances in her mother’s situation.
Things that gave her mother’s behaviors new meaning.
As psychologist Lewis Lipsitt says “we mature when what we once assumed to know takes on more subtlety and nuance, thus changing in meaning.”
She was maturing.
Maturation is not about aging.
It’s about making new meaning from our past so as to move forward with fresh eyes.
Sometimes this softens our pain.
Sometimes it lets us weep.
As we mature.