Monday, October 12, 2009

Age & Wisdom

The old saying that with age, comes wisdom is an interesting thing. Like many of these gems, it's both true and an over simplification. You certainly gain wisdom with age. How useful that wisdom is and how much you are actually able to apply it, is certainly up for debate.

I remember that when I was a kid, I looked at my parents and couldn't figure out how they knew so much. They seemed to have the answer to every question. Now I've reached and probably exceeded their age when I was a kid and I've discovered something startling. I don't really know what I'm doing. No, really! It's quite the revelation at 40 some odd years old. I still don't know what I want to do or how to get there if I did. Shouldn't I have gained some level of wisdom by now? I would think I deserve at least a minimal Wisdom bonus just for 'time served'. It's only fair, after all.

This begs the question, how clueless were Mom and Dad when I was a kid? Were they just making it up as they went along? If so, I'm impressed with their skill at hiding the fact as well as their ability to come up with the answers. There are times that I'm quite sure that I have failed to even approach their level of wisdom, at a comparable age. I shudder to think what minimal information any child of mine would get from me! Might be just as well I'm offspring-less.

I'm not saying that I've learned nothing in my 40+ years! With the number of mistakes I've made, I'd have to have picked up something. Just pure law of averages. But the irony is that what I've learned is unlikely to be useful to me in the future, since I learned it after the fact, and anyone I know who might benefit from this info is unlikely to listen. (Kids these days!!) Humans are like that. We don't like to take someone's word for anything. We much prefer to walk into the wall ourselves, then, while holding pressure to our bleeding foreheads, think, 'Wow, that is tough to walk through!'. This is probably one of humanities bigger flaws. Somewhat below killing people for being different and somewhat above failing to signal when changing lanes.

I certainly remember hitting my mid twenties and having the epiphany that Mom and Dad were right about much of what they told me when I was growing up.  All the advice that I ignored suddenly looked so obvious all of a sudden. But did I suddenly hang on their every word, like a modern Oracle of Delphi? Nope. Like most everyone else I continued to walk into walls. So I'm not really sure if I've gained any real Wisdom in life.  I guess all I can do is plug away and continue trying to discern the brick wall before I actually hit them. So far, my record is less than stellar, but on the other hand, I'm still alive!


  1. :-)You're wiser than you think.

  2. "I guess all I can do is plug away and continue trying to discern the brick wall before I actually hit them. So far, my record is less than stellar, but on the other hand, I'm still alive!"
    Seems to me that this is pretty damn wise!
    Maybe they had run out by the time I was born, but I didn't get a handbook. Maybe it's because while there are some universal truths (like you are most likely going to be gravity bound), this life is about creating it in a way that suits you.
    Good for you that you are still discovering your way. It shows an awareness that many people never even consider, well, considering. To me, this shows that mankind is still evolving as a species. We are questioning as we move forward. We are of a new awareness. Yeah, I agree, it doesn't feel like we have any idea what we are doing but that's what life is for. Think of it as the proofing grounds.
    I agree with anonymous are wiser than you think. And you are still alive! Keep up the good work! ;)


Please let me know what you think, even if it's to disagree.