Sunday, 30 April 2017 14:26

What does it mean to be a grown up?

Written by 

In my self-evaluation I see me as not a grown up! So, what does it mean to say that a person is a grown up?

I think that what it means to be grown up is represented in the saying that when you understand all you forgive all and when you forgive all you love all.  The question is: what does it mean to understand all? How do you understand people?

I had a tendency to blame people and to be angry at people. I would compare people to how I believed that they ought to be and find them not to have lived up to my grandiose expectation and I feel angry at them; I blame people for not been what I wanted them to be, perfect human beings.

What I have finally learned is that every person I see, every person in this world is behaving in accordance with his or her personality and his or her personality is a product of his or her biological make up. The human body is inherently imperfect and limits what human beings can do, so no human being can ever become perfect.

Biology determines ones personality and behaviors; biology is fate. People behave as their body disposes them to behave.

I had a significant other that I judged to lack energy; I believed that she did not work as hard as I expected her to work. I felt that if she had worked hard that I would not have to work very hard.  I used to accuse her of been lazy.

Eventually, I learned that she has a neurological issue that drained her of physical energy and made her behave as she did. She did not deliberately set out to lack energy. It was not her fault that she lacked energy.  It is ignorance on my part to blame her for what is not her fault.

Each person's body disposes him to behave as he does; his biological constitution disposes him to behave as he does.

People's issues are biologically induced so blaming them is stupid.  If you understand that people are who they are because of their bodies you cannot blame them.  If you understand people, that is, see them as the product of their bodies, you forgive whatever they did that led you to criticize them.

For me to be a grown up means for me not to blame anyone for how I see him to be and behave; it means not blaming people for being imperfect because they are really doing their best but their best is not good enough; their bodies limit what they can do (those who lack energy may not engage in sex, or have no more than one sexual episode every once in a while whereas those who have too much physical energy may engage in daily sex; it is all due to biological constitution!).

To be a grown up is to not criticize anyone for not been perfect, for the individual cannot be perfect because his body limits what he can do.

To be a grown up is to accept people as they are and not expect them to be perfect, whatever that is, before one accepts them. Accept people in an unconditionally positive manner (that was the wisdom of Carl Rogers).

It is wise to not say anything, good or bad, about you and other people, for whatever you say is really not true, is based on insufficient information hence is not the truth.

Since information is so vast that the individual cannot possibly know all of it to really make any reasonable judgement about his self or other people the best option available to him is to shut up and say nothing about people.

See people do whatever you see them do and do not evaluate it as good or bad; just overlook what you see them do. Let them do whatever they do and be who they think that they are; it is not for you to tell them what to do or be.


As an idealist whatever I say about people is predicated on my idealism, on my wish for them to be ideal. I judge them with my idealistic goals and standards based on those goals, which are my mental constructs not reality.

Indeed, my wish for ideals was caused by my weak body. Feeling weak and unable to do well at physical activities, especially sports, I wished that I had a stronger body and then imagined what strong body is like and used it to judge me and other people. From there I imagined how everything could be better and used my mere imagination to judge me and people.

This is wishful and magical thinking; one is not going to become ideal and people are not going to become ideal, whatever ideal is. What you believe is ideal and perfect today shifts its goal post tomorrow and something else becomes ideal and perfect.

Judging people with imaginary ideals makes life tense and miserable for them; yet it is done by a misguided desire to be perfect, to be a self that one is not

It is my weak body that determines my pursuit of ideals; physically strong persons do not pursue ideal bodies.


Biology determines human behavior so why judge what people do as good or bad if their biology determines it?

This does not mean that one would not hold ideals in one's mind; it means that one must understand that one's ideals are the product of one's wishful thinking, not reality.

For example, my ideal government is social democratic; my ideal economy is a mixture of capitalism and socialism, such as what obtains in the Scandinavian countries. These are my ideals; they are the product of my wishful thinking; they are not based on biological reality.

Realism tells me that even when we attain the hoped for social democratic political economy that there would still be rulers and the ruled, the powerful and the weak, winners and losers. This is because in real biological life people have different strengths and abilities and the more powerful will always lord it over the weak.

Some human beings are born with raw physical strength whereas others are born with weak bodies. Thank God those with superior intelligence tend to have weak bodies; you go to sports to see the brawny and to academia to see brainy weaklings.

Some people are born with mental retardation (IQ under 70; 2% of the human population are mentally retarded), the many are born with average intelligence (IQ around 100; over 90% of humanity are average), some people are born with above average intelligence (IQ of around 120; about 6% of the human population have above average intelligence) and a few with superior intelligence (IQ of over 130; only 2% of the human population have superior intelligence, and a handful are genius, IQ over 140).

Yet, I prefer a social democratic polity to the wild, Wild West found in primitive countries like the USA.


One should accept reality as it is; one should accept that one is not in a position to change one's self or change other people and let people be who their biological inheritance made them be.

If a chap is born with average intelligence you are not going to make him an Albert Einstein with IQ of 160. If a chap is born with a weak body he is not going to become the world's heavy weight boxing champion. Biology determines intelligence and physical strength.

Let life be what it is and do not try to change it; let people be and live in peace; you did not create life and people and it is not up to you to change them; you merely play neurotic or psychotic god if you believe that you can change people's reality.

A grown up accepts people and reality as it is without trying to change people into what they are not, perfect. This is now what I do: I accept you as I see you to be, imperfect and have no wish for you to change to suite my imaginary ideals of how you should be. I may still see you as very flawed; that is not my problem but yours.

I still see Nigerians and Africans as unable to govern themselves well; I am not motivated to proffer excuses as to why they seem to specialize in stealing but not in good governance (such as attribute it to colonialism, neocolonialism and corruption). I just let them steal to their hearts content.

In accepting people as I see them to be I live in peace with them and with me. Only God knows that I need peace. My peace will not be disturbed by my wishing that things be as they are not. This is not defeatism but realism.

I found peace by accepting that biology determines our empirical (ego) mind. However, there is another mind, the mind that is outside our phenomenal world, the mind of our true self, the minds of the sons of God who remain as God created them, outside body and the universe of space and time.

PS: If biology determines behavior and personality where does religion and spirituality fit into the picture? That is a good question. I am not here writing metaphysics. However, I do believe that before we are born on earth we choose our bodies, families, society and race. We make it seem like those determined us. Because we chose those factors we can override them and choose differently. For example, I believe that I chose to be born in a weak body and in Africa to develop the personality I had. I chose it, I am not a victim. I have chosen differently and live from a higher self, from forgiveness and love. That is to say that there is a role for spirit but that is not to be confused with biological realism. In the here and now world people's biology determine what they do. If you are not smart you chose to be born in a dense body so as to not be smart. May be in a different life time you may choose to be born in a refined body that would dispose you to superior intelligence? Is there racial difference in intelligence? I know that black people in the ghettos of America and Africans live in prescientific cultures.  This probably accounts for the observed fifteen points' difference in average scores between the so-called races.  When black folks live in scientific culture they will equalize average IQ scores with other races.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

April 30, 2017

Read 177 times
Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176