Program Success Barack Obama Special Edition | Page 13

Attorney Regina Nunnally Immaturity Daytona Beach , Florida May 2015

W hen I was a child , I spoke like a child ; I understood as a child , I thought as a child ; but when I became a woman , I put away childish things .”

Regina Nunnally

Life Lessons from a Defense Attorney : Immaturity

As a felony trial attorney , I ’ ve handled hundreds of cases . I ’ ve represented young and old . One of the denominators I ’ ve seen in my twelve years of practicing law is : the lack of maturity . Maturity is a choice . Maturity is not age related . Maturity has nothing to do with experiences . “ When I was a child , I spoke like a child ; I understood as a child , I thought as a child ; but when I became a woman , I put away childish things .” It ’ s time to put down the toys .

Toy # 1 Entitlement - I am supposed to get everything I want . In other words , “ you are greedy .” It ’ s all about me . Sometime parents spoil their children . However , in life and especially as an adult , you don ’ t get everything you want . You have to work for everything you get . Sometime you have to wait and still may not get what you want . A sign of immaturity is a person who believes that “ no ” is not an option . “ No ” is a dirty word . If a child never learns the value of waiting then as an adult they will be demanding , won ’ t appreciate anything and use tactics to get what they want .
Toy # 2 Accountability - It ’ s always somebody else ’ s fault . It ’ s difficult to admit when you are wrong and admitting it is a sign of failure , weakness , incompetence or vulnerability . Actually , it ’ s a sign of humility . We must take charge of our actions and when we choose to do the wrong thing , “ fess up when you mess up ”. We try to escape the inevitable by deflecting on others . Lies start flying and manipulation begins to run rampant in order to get out of trouble .
How often do I hear : “ I made a mistake ”. A mistake is not a purposeful act , not planned . A mistake is an accident , unintentional . If you smoke marijuana while on probation , it ’ s not a mistake ! It takes courage to admit you are wrong . Accountability is a courageous act not the act of a coward .
Toy # 3 Disrespect - Some young people feel that respect for others are forfeited when they are disrespected . Adults disrespect authority as well . Being assertive does not mean you have to be rude . Running your mouth when you need to keep silent has gotten loads of people into trouble . Authority is of divine origin . Honor the status even though the person does not , will not or refuses to honor you . A lack of respect can create a situation where there was none . Don ’ t let your mouth write a check your butt cannot cash .
Toy # 4 Impulsive - Doing an act without thinking first . Emergencies do occur . However , I am referring to instant gratification - not counting the costs . Sometime we act on impulse . Here ’ s an example : all children were taught to look both ways before they cross the street . These rules are meant to protect . A child is playing ball in the yard . The ball bounces into the street . The child runs into the street . Why ? Because he or she is in the moment , concentrating on “ that ” thing . As an adult , you cannot afford to “ be in the moment ” or chase after something you think is precious . Don ’ t forget the rules . They are meant to protect you . It will cost you everything you wanted or to lose what you apparently didn ’ t appreciate .
Toy # 5 Manipulation - The act of forcing your will upon others to get what you want . We use statements such as “ I thought you loved me ” or “ I did it for you so …” The goal is to make people feel guilty to get a desired result . Is the ultimate goal to please yourself or the other person ? These are not acts of love for others but selfish and self-centered . Children have mastered the art of manipulation : tantrums , threats to harm themselves and others , or running away . These are toys that should not be played with at any age . Parents are charged with the duty to train up a child in the right way . However , some parents are teaching their children to keep secrets and tell lies . The truth is scary and is bad ; the fear to be honest is developed . Fear brings torment . As an adult , the person is incapable of openness and of honesty because they are afraid and paranoid , trying to stay one step ahead of the game .
Of course this list is not exhaustive . You may have some to add . But , how do we put down these toys ? We must humble ourselves . Admit that we practice such things and choose to put them away . Immature decisions can cause a good thing before it ’ s time become a bad thing . Bad choices have stolen , killed and destroyed many of a dream . Replace the old with the new . You do not have to be extraordinary to do it . Be courageous because when we chose to grow up , then we can start acting our age and not our shoe size .