Competence and Maturity


…Rob, from the International Boatbuilding Training College,  came to our Men’s Shed for our safety training, talking about and demonstrating the safe use of our workshop machines.

One Health and Safety Executive (HSE) directive made me smile: ‘Ensure that people under the age of 18 have the competence and maturity to operate woodworking machines…’

…There was news of national strikes… particularly teachers. There were discussions about politics and economics, the nature of public service and the degree of public support, the right to strike… and the competence and maturity of teachers’ expressing their grievances and politicians dealing with them.

…We watched a documentary: 44-year-old Marcus donated one of his kidneys to his wife Tracey. We saw the competence and maturity of the couple both to make such a decision and to carry it through… and the competence and maturity of the surgeons and hospital staff in the successful operation.

…Back at the Men’s Shed… we asked whether there should be an HSE directive about the competence and maturity of over 60s, joking about certain gents who display neither…

We often discuss our physical and mental health, our symptoms, medications, frustrations. Sometimes we walk the fine line between the humour and the ‘deadly’ serious. Perhaps recognising and respecting that fine line is a measure of competence and maturity…

…We heard from 3 separate families where the speedy onset of dementia has had sad, life-changing, dramatic effects on one family member; the whole family is suffering. Our declining competence and maturity is a serious concern for many senior friends.

This morning…

…Musing on competence and maturity I read the confusing, bizarre story of Balaam… There are bribes, demanded prophecies, anger, frustrations, apparent madness… an invisible angel with a sword, and a speaking donkey!

‘Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes…’ When the wisest things are sometimes said by donkeys, my prayer is that God will open my eyes so that I can see through the madness and confusion to competence and maturity…

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