Underdog – The Unsung Superhero

Underdog Security

Underdog – The Unsung Superhero

Underdog is among the greatest of superheroes; but it appears, that not coming from a Marvel series has him, and his good deeds, overlooked. Recently, a website security question, asked who is my favorite superhero. In the box, I wrote Underdog. The site’s auto-response did not accept it. ” it is an in valid answer.” I tried two more times; and had the same result as well as being given examples of more acceptable super heroes names … Batman, Spiderman, Superman. How could anyone or business overlook Underdog? How did this good-will-based canine become Underdog – The Unsung Superhero?

Time to Defend Underdog – That’s What He Would do for Me

As, “there is no fear, because Underdog is here.” Hard to believe a shy, shoeshine pup had the ability and kindness to jump into a phone booth, take his secret energy pill to transform into a Superhero whose powers, when ignited, can burst the phone booth into pieces while he immediately trajects into the air.

Underdog’s mission is to chase and fight the likes of mad scientist and orphaned Simon Bar Sinister or, his sometimes side-kick, Riff Raff.

Both villains focus on trying to harm poor, Sweet Polly Purebred as well as others. Many times these scoundrels would hide their identities to try to trick Underdog or Polly.

Polly is very naïve and unaware; which made her an easy target. In her frequent perils, she would sing “oh where oh where could my Underdog be.” She knew she could count on him.

A subplot to it all is the demure relationship between Polly and the shy Underdog and the shoe-shine boy who loved her. However, the writers made sure the first cartoon romance to ever air was clearly platonic.

Righting Wrongs

You would think with such determination to right wrongs, protect and restore good, Underdog would be harsh and speak with aggression, but not true. Underdog spoke mostly in rhymes.

That’s pretty impressive in its own right. Try it … you are in a discussion or trying to solve a puzzle and you have to innately speak in a rhyme through the whole conversation. Not easy is it?

Each episode also ended in a cliff hanger with the narrator saying, “Looks like this is the end! But don’t miss our next Underdog Show!” And, Underdog delivered in the next episode too.

His altruism was also second to none.

From his first moment on TV, he was an instant hit.

Throughout his 124 episodes, he protected the world in space, from evil, bubble-headed creatures, robots, from Riff Raff’s gang of mis-deed doers.

Remember Sandy the Safecracker, Spinny Wheels (who always drives the gang’s getaway car), Dinah Mite (the underworld’s greatest bomb-tosser), Nails the Carpenter, Needles the Tailor, Smitty the Blacksmith, and the Witch Doctor?

They were a bunch of no good so and sos (trying to keep language in the time-period).

And who knows how much more he did without cameras or animators present.

Oh can’t forget Chumley. Tennessee Tuxedo’s slow side kick

Underdog’s Power

It would be wonderful to write that Underdog came from the evolution of a lost species of pooches who lived among buried magic crystals to give him powers.

That would explain how any animal can have such ability and fortitude.

Does any dog have super-strength, x-ray vision, atomic super-breath, superspeed, supersonic flight, cosmic vision, ultrasonic hearing (that’s how her heard Polly in Peril), supersonic high-pitch hi-fi voice and an instantaneous calculating brain?

No; and, no Marvel superhero has all these skills.

Although I long for an idyllic superhero such as Underdog is portrayed, it is, alas, not the case.

Underdog was actually a 1958 figment to sell General Mills cereals. An Ad agency called Dancer Fitzgerald Sample created him. They, with Underdog cartoons, helped sell Lucky Charms, Trix and Coco Puffs.

I loved Trix the most. Frankie liked Coco Puffs, but later moved to Count Chocula. Thought you’d like to know.

How Did Underdog Come to Be – Inspired by I Love Lucy

In a quest to find content to attract children and make them hungry for cereal, one of Underdog’s creators, Chet Stover, found his muse in an I Love Lucy rerun. The episode is “Lucy and Superman.”

In that episode, Ricky manages to get Superman (played by George Reeves, of course) to show up at Little Ricky’s birthday party. Lucy grows concerned that the Man of Steel might not show. In a panic, she dons her own makeshift Superman suit and goes out on their apartment’s ledge in order to make her entrance through the window.

And, the idea of a hapless superhero was born.

Making Underdog Relateable

Joe Harris then designed a canine superhero in a red baggy costume and oversized blue cape.

The Underdog color scheme was intentionally designed as the reverse of Superman’s costume in an attempt to mix cute and cuddly with a serious crime fighter.

Underdog’s occupation of shoeshine boy came about as a result of Wally Cox (Underdog’s original voice) saying it was a fitting occupation for a character who spoke softly and slowly.

For the other major characters on Underdog, Harris looked to the big screen.

Underdog’s romantic interest, Sweet Polly Purebred, was inspired by none other than Marilyn Monroe.

His arch nemesis, Simon Bar Sinister, not only took his appearance from Lionel Barrymore in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, but his voice as well.

His other arch nemesis, Riff-Raff, was inspired by George Raft and other similar movie gangsters.

Underdog Message is About Integrity

In many respects, Underdog taught children of the Sixties and Seventies more about what is right and wrong than cartoons that proliferated the Eighties.

Chet Stover and producer W. Watts “Buck” Biggers wrote nearly all of the scripts and provided Underdog with much of his mythos. Biggers would also write the famous theme song.

The scripts were original and imaginative, going beyond simple superhero parody. Perhaps that’s the reason Underdog remains loved by so many. It’s the fact that, it was driven very much by its complex characters. It is also a Saturday morning cartoon- character appeaing to parents and kids alike.

Despite his great power and the fact that he speaks with a lower voice than Shoeshine Boy, Underdog isn’t really that far removed in personality from his alter ego.

Both have a strong sense of right and wrong; both seek to live their lives with honor; both are compassionate to other; and both lack any sort of narcissism whatsoever. They are humble.

The stories didn’t lack backdoor humor. Remember, “look it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s a frog?” Who could mistake Underdog as a frog?

Animation Miracles on a Budget

The animation was not done here in the United States, but at Gamma Studios in Mexico. It was said, if they did it in the US they could not even afford to buy paint for the animation cells.

Due to the shoestring budget, Chet Stover, W. Watts Biggers, and Joe Harris worked a good deal of magic by using filters and camera angles to show motion when none was present.

But, the character had quite a run. From cartoons, lunch boxes, videos, fan clubs, cereal toys, portrait artwork, books, comics, radio shows, ComiCom participation, YouTube channel, several games (board and video), tee-shirts, frisbees, stuffed figurines, plastic figurines, major motion pictures, and international acclaim with syndication. It even sparked the creation of an animation studio opened by the advertising team who created Underdog.

International Syndication

The first 24 episodes ran in 10 minute shorts. Each half-hour had Underdog followed by Tennessee Tuxedo followed by the Sing-along-family. I remember Mr. Tuxedo, but not the Sing-along-family.

The syndicated version of The Underdog Show consists of 62 half-hour episodes. The supporting segments differ from the show’s original network run from 1964 to 1967. The syndicated series, as shown in the United States, ran until 1973 on NBC and CBS.

By the way, Underdog was one the first syndicated shows ever and started in syndication before it was done filming. Another first.

Other cartoons that were part of Underdog intermissions were Go Go Gophers and Klondike Kat, and Commander McBragg.

The final two syndicated Underdog half-hours feature two one-shot cartoons that were originally part of an unsold pilot for a projected 1966 series, The Champion (Cauliflower Cabbie and Gene Hattree),

NBC and CBS; Then A New Beginning

For many years, starting with NBC’s last run in the mid-1970s, all references to Underdog swallowing his Super Energy Pill were censored-out of fear that kids would see medication that looked like the Underdog pills (red with a white “U” on them) and swallow them.

In 1994 the show was remastered. This was after the show started running on Nickelodeon starting in June 1992. This lasted until the later 1990s.

You’d think that would be it for Underdog. “Looks like this is the end! But don’t miss ….”

Per Wikipedia:

Underdog also aired on Australian Broadcasting Corporation on February 18, 1966. In 1995, Biggers, Stover, Covington, and Harris (with General Mills) negotiated a sale of their creations to Saturday Night Live producer Lorne MichaelsBroadway Video, who later sold the rights to Golden Books. When Classic Media took over Golden Books, it acquired the underlying rights to Underdog. In 2012, Classic Media was sold to DreamWorks Animation, and ultimately became the property of the series’ current owners, Universal Television

Underdog is a money-maker; even 55 years after its release.

TV Guide ranked Underdog as number 23 on its “50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time” list, and IGN ranked Underdog as number 74 on its Best 100 Animated Series list.”

In my humble opinion, that ranking is way too low.

A Major Motion Picture Filmed in Rhode Island

Surprised?! Rhode Island is a small place where most people think nothing much happens from a national standpoint.

However, it has many highpoints great restaurants, waterfront downtown Providence, beaches, yachting, mansions, and more. For my friends of Italian heritage, it has a piazza in a Providence section called Federal Hill. Parts of it you’ll feel like you’re in Italy. And, lots of Italian imported items. Come visit.

But it was in 2006; when they filmed the 2007-released non-animated film Underdog. So an actual, living, breathing dog, with superpowers starred in this movie. Maybe there were some special effects.

The film stars Jim Belushi, Peter Dinklage, John Slattery, and Patrick Warburton with the voice talents of Jason Lee, Amy Adams, and Brad Garrett.

The film was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Shoeshine/Underdog, was played by a lemon Beagle named Leo, sporting a red sweater and a blue cape. Hardly an homage the real, undisputed Underdog-garb.

The only thing that would make this film better would be if my film-maker son produced it. He was 8 at the time of filming; but I still think he would have created a masterpiece. This isn’t only because of the multi-faceted characters and deep, thought-provoking plot; he would have molded it into the action-adventure it deserved to be.

The premise …. A normal, bumbling, everyday bomb-sniffing , unnamed, beagle gets exposed to a substance that gives him superpowers gained during a mishap at City Hall. Along with all the other superpowers, is the ability the speak. He is adopted by a security guard – an ex-cop, who’s a widower with a 12-year-old moody son, Jack Unger. He names the pupster Shoeshine. Shoeshine uses his superpower to protect his love and the citizens of Capitol City from the evil Simon Bar Sinister. Underdog dedicates himself to good, quickly becoming revered as a superhero for his unassumed acts of bravery, but ultimately it will take the combined efforts and understanding of Underdog, Jack, Dan, Molly, and Polly to defeat Bar Sinister and save Capital City from destruction. Phew, they do save the day.

The film grossed $65.3 million worldwide. Critics hated it.

Underdog – The Unsung Superhero a Macy’s Parade Balloon

Underdog is here, there and everywhere.

The Underdog balloon in the 1983 Parade.

Underdog had quite the stature: 63 1/2 feet Width: 34 feet Weight: 320 pounds Helium Volume: 8,000 cubic feet

The mild Superhero, first appeared in Macy’s Parade as balloon in 1965. One year after his television show started. He was accompanied by an Underdog float for his debut. There was also a skit performed in the parade judges’ circle in front of Macy’s 34th Street main store.

On NBC, following the broadcast of that Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1965, a special episode of Underdog was aired –“Simon Says…No Thanksgiving.”

He became an instant classic for the parade and flew for many more years even though his TV Show ended in 1973. The balloon was eventually retired in 1984. It made 20 parade appearances overall.

Over time, the balloon deteriorated beyond repair. There were also 8 mishaps with it. One, including it nearly flying away over Central Park.

But Underdog’s signature “U” still exists and is framed in Macy’s Parade Studio.

Macy’s would love to bring the beloved Underdog back to the parade. Its licensing company has no new Underdog balloon in the works.

But That Isn’t the Last of the Underdog Balloon

The balloon made a couple of appearances in pop culture.

In 1994, the first Thanksgiving-themed episode of NBC’s sitcom Friends centered around the accidental release of the Underdog balloon, which caused everyone to go to the roof to watch and get locked out of the apartment.

Underdog also appeared in a 2008 CGI ad for Coca-Cola, where he chases a Coke bottle-shaped balloon through New York City, along with a balloon of Stewie Griffin from Family Guy, a show that was never actually represented in the parade.

FYI … Family Guy is based in Rhode Island. More than meets the eye here.

A walk-round version of Underdog appeared on the “75th Parade Superstars” float, along with other characters who had balloons that had been retired, such as Popeye, Kermit the Frog, and Ice Skating Snoopy.

Underdog Still Alive and Well in Pop Culture

Let’s just accept it. Everyone loves Underdog. Here is a quick list of other places Underdog has appeared:

  • The Robot Chicken episode Dragon Nuts featured a parody of Underdog who came to the rescue of a woman having her purse stolen, only to have everyone (including criminal) drop everything, awed over the fact that he was a talking dog.
  • In a 2005 commercial for the Visa Check Card a woman’s credit card is stolen, prompting the appearance of Marvel Comics superheroes. Dismissing the threat, the heroes leave, just as Underdog arrives.
  • In the Powerpuff Girls episode “Super Zeroes”, when Bubbles adopts the identity of Harmony Bunny, she parodies one of Underdog’s catchphrases.
  • In a Thanksgiving-themed Reba episode, Van is revealed to be a huge Underdog fan, owning the complete DVDs and ecstatic over the prospect of seeing the Underdog Macy’s balloon in the annual parade. Later his daughter Elizabeth is seen at the dinner table in a full Underdog super-suit.
  • It has been referenced in the movie Detroit Rock City
  • Episodes of In Living Color (a recurring line from the episode “Round and Round” occurs in a Handi Man sketch)
  • In 2005 his image was featured on the No 37 R&J Racing Dodge Charger, driven by Kevin LePage, for two Nascar races.
  • Will and Grace, Thanksgiving episode.

  • Craig McCracken has also acknowledged Underdog as one of the influences on The Powerpuff Girls.
  • It may also have been an influence on the Nickelodeon series Kappa Mikey
  • And the children’s book series Captain Underpants.

  • Dennis Miller has given regular guest Jake Tapper, ABC News Senior National Correspondent and Senior Political Correspondent, the nickname “Tap Tap The Chiseler,” a reference to an Underdog villain that was only explained to Tapper on the May 6, 2008 installment of Miller’s nationally syndicated radio talk show.

Celebrating 55 Years of Underdog

Even in its earliest years, the cartoon produced a large number of merchandising tie-ins. These are all alive and well today. I couldn’t find the current or past amount of money made on Underdog cartoons and merchandising. They do currently have clothing and other items available at Walmart and JC Penny.

If you Google Underdog merchandise, there are pages and pages of goods to buy.

Here are the people who brought Underdog to life and may also get some royalties.

The Voices of the Characters – Some Nostalgia

George S. IrvinNarrator -Broadway Actor, All in the Family Producer and Heat Miser from the Santa Claus Rankin/Bass animations.

Wally CoxUnderdog – Was a well known comedian of slight stature. He was a personal friend of Marlon Brando and a regular on Hollywood Squares. He’s been the voice of Mr. Peepe; and had roles on the Beverly Hill Billies and The Cosby Show.

Alan Swift Simon Bar Sinister and Riff Raff – Swift was the first host/performer of WPIX TV Ch. ll NYC’s “Popeye Show” weekday evenings from Monday, September 10, 1956, to Friday, September 23, 1960. He hosted the show as “Captain Allen”.

Norma McMillanSweet Polly Purebred – was a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, She’s the voice of Casper the Friendly Ghost and Pokey on the “Gumby Show.” MacMillan was also the voice of John-John and Caroline Kennedy in the 1960’s recordings of the “First Family.” Her daughter Alison Arngrim, played Nellie in Little House on the Prairie (1974); and her son, Stefan Arngrim, played Barry Lockridge on the short-lived 1968 television show Land of the Giants (1968).

Bradley BolkeChumley – He was an actor, known for The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974), Diary of a Bachelor (1964) and Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales (1963). His name was also assigned to worker on Pawn Stars.

A couple other quick mentions – Don Adams from Get Smart fame was the voice of Tennessee Tuxedo and Larry Storch – Agarn from F Troop and was voice of Phineas J Whoopie.

Series Produced by 

W. Watts Biggers producer (124 episodes, 1964-1967)
Treadwell Covington executive producer (124 episodes, 1964-1967)
Joseph Harris producer (124 episodes, 1964-1967)
Peter Piech executive producer (124 episodes, 1964-1967)
Chester Stover producer (124 episodes, 1964-1967)

Big Business – Time to Recognize Underdog as a 1st-Teir Superhero

Hopefully this lineage of success, populous love; and him still going strong, is enough to persuade businesses to add Underdog to their approved superhero list. I’m hoping I do not need to boycott these businesses for the cause.

And, really, Underdog is all about security; it’s only natural to add him to the acceptable answer list.

If you share a love for Underdog, please tell us about it.

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Freddie Mercury – What a Surprise

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury – What a Surprise

Bohemian Rhapsody produced by Fox came out around the same time as A Star is Born. Chip and I went to the theater to see ASIB and it was playing later than we thought. So we bought tickets to Bohemian Rhapsody. Then changed them back to a ASIB. When I finally saw Bohemian Rhapsody on Netflix, I fell in love. I would actually go as far as say obsessed. I have been reading everything I can on Freddie Mercury and Queen. If it was somewhere playing on a big screen, I would go immediately. And, I’m still regretting changing tickets … huge mistake.

Why it is So Great?

Bohemian Rhapsody’s theme wasn’t about decadence (even thought there was a lot). It was about living by three moral codes.

  1. Good thoughts; Good words, Good deeds.
  2. The expansive definition of family.
  3. Everything isn’t how it appears.

The Movie Premise

The movie starts and ends with the Live Aid concert from 1986. It takes you through a journey of Freddie Mercury and the whole band … Queen. The story took the band members from kids to men with largest focus on Freddie Mercury. But this really isn’t about the movie.

Freddie Mercury Back Story

Who’d have thought the flamboyant and exotic Mercury would have come from a traditional Tanzanian, loving family with a focus on doing the right thing? And, he was incredibly quiet and shy. He let few people into his true life. The mantra from his father was simple … good thoughts, good words, good deeds. Throughout the movie you see this ideal come to light whenever Freddie was faced with a situation where the high-road was the best road.

And, he could sing like no other.

The Rest of the Band

The members of Queen aren’t a bunch of kids trying to make it in the world. They are a team of intellects … an astrophysicist, a dentist and an electrical engineer. Not just by eduation, but their day jobs before Queen became a viable band. They all were also traditional in their ways. Family first.

Queen Dynamic

It was a true collaborative group, who were different but bonded. They appreciated each ones special value to the whole. No one could produce their quality and creativity of music without having their idea challenged and added to. They considered themselves family.

But Why Freddie Was Freddie

There were three points in Bohemian Rhapsody that made me become extremely respectful of Freddie Mercury. First when you could see he had to change his name to transform to the needed persona of lead signer of Queen. Again, when you see him lonely in his home with no one to share his accomplishment and joy. Finally, the conflict of his love for Mary Austin (his ex fiancé) and his love partners.

Creativity galore
Kind man amazing talent

In fact, the last point is the one that won my heart. Since seeing the movie, I have seen some candid shots of Freddie Mercury within the non-public portion of his life. He comes across, gentle, kind and vulnerable. In the traditional part of his heart, he was bonded and married to Mary.

The other part that demonstrated his loyalty and kindness is seen in how he distributed his estate. Every person in his life is remembered in very different ways. His bequeaths, working solely from memory (can’t find the article I got this from), The majority of his wealth was split between his family and Mary Austin. One quarter of his royalties are split between the remaining members of Queen. His three primary lovers were each given a home and $500K. His manager was made the executor of his estate and control over all his money and given a substantial pay for doing this.

And, just a FYI … the success of Bohemian Rhapsody is expected to generate about an extra $150 million for his family and Mary Austin.

How Can an Introvert Become Such a Vivid Performer

This is something I had to research some. From what I read, there are a couple reasons. The one I have applied to Freddie Mercury is that his introversion and vulnerability made it easy for people to relate to him. Another I read noted that because these performer are shy, the only way they can have a voice and be authentic is through their music. The other is that they have unusual lives or life-histories and performing creates a way to escape and become someone that can be liked and accepted.

After getting this sense of his introversion and privacy, there are parts of his life that really get to you. There are times when he is pressed by the media to discuss his possible illness and partner preferences. In addition, he had to watch a confidant betray him in a public venue. Any person would be overwhelmed at such personal intrusions.


This is a tough part to write about because it shifts the emphasis from the person to something different. I will suffice it to write …

From an interview with Brian May (Queen lead guitarist) , he reports that in Freddie’s last days he was more concerned with others comfort with his weakened condition; and he even apologized for his appearance. Many sources say that he wanted to make music until the very end; which is exactly what he did.

And, most sadly, just months after his passing, the medical community found ways to control those with HIV/AIDS to preserve and prolong their lives.

Things to Watch and Read

Queen Live Aid Performance I watch or listen to this almost everyday now.

BBC Documentary

According to the Tampa Bay Times in October 2018, here are a handful of Queen documentaries to watch.

  1. Becoming Queen (2004): Amazon Prime features a host of free Queen documentaries offering broad looks at the band, a la any generic, hourlong TV special
  2. Becoming Queen (2004): Amazon Prime features a host of free Queen documentaries offering broad looks at the band, a la any generic, hourlong TV special
  3. Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender (2012): A sequel of sorts to Days of Our Lives, this Emmy-winning doc
  4. Inside the Rhapsody (2015): The song Bohemian Rhapsody is practically a movie in and of itself, so why shouldn’t it get its own documentary?
  5. Queen: Rock the World (2017):

Facts That I Kinda Loved

  • In Bohemian Rhapsody, they give a list of many of the bands on the Live Aid playbill. The list is actually a list of all Freddie Mercury’s friends in the music industry.
  • During Live Aid, Freddie had a throat condition and doctors advised he not perform, but he did. Thank goodness. I remember watching that performance.
  • After one bad MTV video, Queen lost it’s US audience willing to accept new material, but they had numerous charted songs around the world for years after 1986. Who knew?
  • Queen music is everywhere. It’s in commercials, background to radio shows (even NPR), on video games, in elevators, etc. How could I have missed it before?
  • Freddie Mercury wrote over 70 songs
  • As I was writing this, I got a text from Chip of something trending on twitter about Freddie Mercury … what the f*** facts

Let us know if you liked Bohemian Rhapsody and if it renewed your interest in Queen. watch the movie. Meanwhile, I’ll be watching YouTube again.

Tribute to Officer Circelli – USS Missouri

This is my second big brother’s father. He and his dad are both American heroes. Here’s a tribute to Officer Circelli.

The Greatest Generations Foundation

January 24 at 6:18 AM ·

AMERICA REMEMBERS: It is with a heavy heart we learn the news that Mr. Albert A. Circelli, the man who prepared the table for the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay has passed away. He was 93

Born to Crescenzo and Antoinette Pastorelli Circelli on October 19, 1925, in Utica. Mr. Circelli joined the “CCC” Civilian Conservation Corps., right out of high school and subsequently began his work career with the Topper Beer Co, Balayntine Beer Co. and had a long and enjoyable career with the West End Brewery, until his retirement. Mr. Circelli was proud of his Italian Heritage and was an American Patriot through and through.

Mr. Circelli proudly served his country in the US Navy and was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He served aboard the USS Missouri and was present on the ship when they announced the Japanese would sign the surrender to America.

Mr. Circelli carried his military service with him, and every Veterans Day would always speak to the school children, about the significance of the war.

He married the love of his life Rose Marie Gaetano in 1948, a blessed union of 70 years. Mr. Circelli’s life revolved around his family never missing one of his wife’s meals, and always attending his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s events. His stories will never be forgotten, from the bean fields and shacks to the streets of his beloved Utica, to the Military.

On behalf of TGGF and its members, we salute Mr. Circelli for his devotion and service to our great nation.

“Every Day is Memorial Day”
The Greatest Generations Foundation
Web: www.TGGF.org

Tell us about your hero

25 Signs of Maturity – Got Any?

Humble and Kind

25 Signs of Maturity

The last couple of days, I’ve been frustrated about something and considered speaking to the “person” responsible for the situation to point a few things out.  However, I knew that conversation would solve nothing.  And, that, no matter how I phrased things, it sounded  immature.  Then I wondered what maturity is anyway.  I found this blog “25 Signs of Maturity: How Mature Are You?”  Take a read.  Seems it’s Ok to be frustrated but ….

25 Signs of Maturity: How Mature Are You?

Do you think there is a certain age at which maturity sets in? Could it be 20? 40? 70?

In my personal experiences, I’ve observed that age has little or nothing to do with it. I have met young people who are mature well beyond their years, and I’ve known older folks who act childish, only thinking about themselves.

So the question is:

What are the character traits that show maturity?

And do “mature” people exhibit them 100% of the time?

Well, I’m not sure that we can be mature in every situation that presents itself to us because we are always growing and learning as human beings, and I’m pretty sure that all of us have been guilty of at least some of these negative behaviors at least once in our lives. That being said, by considering these 25 tell-tale signs, perhaps we can be more aware of the interludes in which our whiny, adolescent self rears its immature head…

1. Realizing how much you don’t know.

2. Listening more and talking less.

3. Being aware and considerate of others as opposed to being self-absorbed, self-centered, and inconsiderate.

4. Not taking everything personally, getting easily offended, or feeling the need to defend, prove, or make excuses for yourself.

5. Being grateful and gracious, not complaining.

6. Taking responsibility for your own health and happiness, not relying on others to “fix” you or placing blame for your circumstances.

7. Having forgiveness and compassion for yourself and others.

8. Being calm and peaceful, not desperate, frantic, or irrational.

9. Showing flexibility and openness as opposed to resisting, controlling, or being unreasonable.

10. Helping yourself, not just expecting others to do it for you out of a sense of entitlement.

How are you doing so far?

11. Doing good deeds even when there is nothing in it for you other than knowing you helped, being selfless.

12. Respecting another’s point of view, beliefs, and way of life without judgment, not insisting you are right, belittling another, or using profanity or violence to get your point across.

13. Sharing your good fortune with others.

14. Being able to turn the other cheek without wishing harm on another.

15. Thinking before acting and having good manners, not going off half-cocked, lashing out, or being rude.

16. Encouraging and being supportive of others.

17. Finding joy in the success of someone else, not envy or criticism.

18. Knowing there is always room to grow and improve and reaching out for help.

19. Having humility and laughing at yourself.

20. Recognizing that which does not work in your life and making an effort to do something different.

Feel like I should put a link to Tim McGraw’s song Humble and Kind

21. Passing up instant gratification in favor of long term benefits.

22. Accepting, liking, and loving yourself, not needing someone else to “complete” you.

23. Standing up for fairness and justice for yourself and others and choosing to do the right thing.

24. Making sacrifices for the good of others without resentment.

25. Not clinging to materialistic items or bragging.

I’m sure there are probably other signs, but this list covers at least the majority of them. I know we can always do a better job displaying our mature sides. I also know that, by doing so, we lift each other up through our example. What’s most important, however, is seeing the negative side of our behavior and knowing we must do something positive to change it…And that, my friends, is WISDOM.

So, how mature are you?  Let us know how many of the 25 you do.

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