DEAR ABBY: I have carried a worn clipping of your “Definition of Maturity” with me for many years because it has been inspirational to me. I even gave a copy of it to my younger brother.

Is it part of one of your publications? I feel it is relevant today because both the young and old could use a lesson in respect and self-respect. Can you reprint it?– FRANCES IN DALLAS

DEAR FRANCES: With pleasure! Here it is:


Maturity is:

The ability to stick with a job until it’s finished.

The ability to do a job without being supervised.

The ability to carry money without spending it.

And the ability to bear an injustice without wanting

To get even. 

This definition of maturity is included in my booklet “Keepers,” a compilation of humorous and inspirational items -- poems and short essays -- that readers have asked me to include in my column because they held special meaning for them. Many, like you, also have said they kept the articles until they were worn and yellowed with age. Many readers suggested the articles be put together in a booklet.

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