If it were possible to successfully impart to young people the wisdom that comes with age, people in their middle age and older would be far happier.  Unfortunately, the understanding of life that accompanies age and experience comes only through…age and experience.  It does not come from hearing the sage advice of someone who’s been there, done that. Maybe listening to the advice of elders helps prepare the mind to accept wisdom, but learning life is not like learning arithmetic.

When I see young people make mistakes I made many years ago, I wish I could help them understand, today, what they will understand twenty years hence.  But, then, I realize I could never have learned,  in the abstract, much of what I now know; it had to come through experience. Wisdom is far harder to acquire than knowledge.  It takes more time and more pain.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Wisdom

  1. I hope they do see the wisdom in what they are doing, Juan. Sometimes, the young are brash and bold and willing to take wild risks, but do they really understand the world they’re fighting so hard to change? I suppose they are collecting their own experiences, which will evolve into wisdom over time…or maybe they captured, early on, what it means to be wise and were faster to put their knowledge to work than i!

  2. juanon says:

    I am the college adviser for GLOW, or what is the “Gay, Lesbian Or Whatever” student organization on campus. Our last organizational meeting almost brought me to tears, and I’m not sure why. Maybe because I am so much older than they, and I see something far more reaching and sacrificial than they see — or maybe they “do” see?

    I see young men and women forwarding a cause “that it doesn’t make any difference what your sexual preference is.” And, they are so willing to do the work!

    John, they are so young!……they are so young!

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