Adult Manifesto

Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 in Uncategorized | 57 comments

I have been trying to figure out what it means to be an adult.  This is not an easy  thing to define.  Wishing people would “grow up” is one thing;  defining what is meant  by the expression is another.   To that end, I’ve been working on a writing down the characteristics of maturity.  This list is by no means exhaustive, nor is it completed,  but I think it’s time to share it.  I call the “Adult Manifesto”.     I invite your feedback.

  1. I am committed to self-growth no matter how painful.  I am aware of the human tendency to have personal blind-spots and will therefore, carefully and prayerfully examine my own life and my progress over time.
  2. I understand that no one has it all together.  I do not pretend to be perfect nor do I demand perfection from others.
  3. Realizing this, I am open for feedback  resisting defensiveness, in order to wisely assimilate what I am hearing.
  4. When I make a mistake, I admit it, do what I can to repair and move on, wiser for the experience.
  5. I ask for what I want in appropriate ways, realizing that I will not always get what I want from others.  I recognize that ultimately I must own my needs and come up with alternative solutions when others are not able to help me.
  6. I take responsibility for my life and my circumstances and refrain from blaming others for my problems.
  7. I am aware of the human great need for connection.  I am also aware that our current culture does not necessarily promote an environment where relationships are easily formed and strengthened.  I will therefore be proactive about seeking and building positive, healthy connection with others in my life.
  8. I recognize that friendship and trust grows over time.  I do what I can to invest in relationships in positive ways, inviting reciprocation without demanding or coercing allegiance and trust.
  9. I will relate to others as an equal adult; not lording over them with unsolicited advice and direction; nor being inferior and needy, putting up with unwanted and destructive interactions.
  10. I will respect others’ right to space and privacy.  This means I respect others’ right to choose something other then what I am proposing and will not take personally decisions to choose alternatives to engaging with me at any given time.
  11. I recognize that not all relationships will work.  A relationship takes 2 willing people who have time, energy and the desire to invest.  Sometimes circumstances outside of my control make it impossible for a relationship to go the direction I would like it to go.
  12. I will strive for congruency in the way I communicate with others, meaning that I will align my outward expression with my inward thoughts.  This does not mean that I express every thought.  It simply means that when I choose to communicate, it matches what I feel and believe.
  13. I will expect others to be congruent as well, allowing them to assume responsibility for whether they speak truthfully or not.  I will take people at face value and expect them to speak up for themselves and communicate what they need.
  14. I will keep my word to the best of my ability; being honest in the first place about what I truly believe I can deliver.  If I am unable to follow through I will communicate this as soon as possible and as clearly as possible.  I realize that in such cases, people may be disappointed and should be allowed to express it.
  15. I expect to be treated courteously and honorably.  When I am treated disrespectfully, I will do what is in my power to protect myself from harm, firmly communicating my disagreement and then taking steps to remove myself.



  1. Brilliant! While it’s all I want to be and do as well, without the help of the Holy Spirit I’m sunk.

  2. Once again I am so very blessed to call you my friend. I too am striving for these same things. The list seems daunting and overwhelming when I think of it as a whole. But I will continue to work and strive with Jesus and when I fall I will get back up and be grateful that I have friends like you to walk with me until I succeed again. Two things I think of…it’s not about the destination but the journey and it’s not how we fall that matters its how we get up.

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