This excellent point of view asks an important question; why does development in its structured form stop at a certain age? This article is from a chapter of The Book Of Life, which is a free resource developed by a global organisation called The School Of Life, who are devoted to the development of emotional intellegence.
The notion that we stop celebrating development milestones at around the late teens / early twenties is a fascinating one. The excerpt gives us great insights into the obvious ways we notice development for ourselves in things like a golf handicap, or a gaining a pilots license, but asks what the milestones are for arguably the more important growth milestones like self awareness, compassion or other emotional flexibility achievements.
“A capacity for emotional development is constantly available to us, but we have nothing like the clear, detailed terms of reference that babies and young children enjoy.
In truth, we never stop growing up. The possibility of emotional development is present throughout life. We don’t track the changes, but they may be occurring nevertheless, with none of the public status accorded to a big birthday, a promotion or a business school degree.
In an ideal society, emotional development would attract the same kind of interest and prestige that currently attaches to career or age milestones. Currently we might throw a party to celebrate professional advancement, the start of a new decade or the move to a new house; in the future, we might do so to mark someone’s newfound mastery of self-compassion or serenity around sexual issues.”