The best proxy to our real age – not the number we get when we subtract our birth year from this year – is to observe when we consider something to be our responsibility.
If we can never find it in us to own up to a problem that affects us, we’re still where we were when we were children. It is anybody’s fault but ours.
If we understand we should take responsibility but don’t want to, we’ve hit our teens but haven’t quite made it past them.
Adulthood begins the moment we accept that anything that affects us is our responsibility. It doesn’t mean that we need to respond to everything that happens and make it our problem. It simply means that we are aware that it is a situation where we have the ability to respond and where we must choose whether or not to do so.
As an added bonus, taking responsibility for what happens to us is a big part of being mindful/conscious because consciousness is simply being aware of our choices at any given point of time. And, of course, the choices arrive the moment we decide to take responsibility for what happens to us…