It would appear that everybody is running away from those first hints of wrinkles, that first turn of gray in the hair. At first glance, I’d be quick to say: I don’t blame them. But then again, you know by now that I’m quite the muser. There’s a lot to ponder about that behavior.
I come from a country in Africa, one that prides itself on the wisdom of the ancients. Simply put, there’s a general reverence there for those who are aged. And for good reason! In my short life, I have had enough time to ponder my choices and my thinking; I have compared my thinking now to how I made sense of life oooh, ten years ago. I’ve even looked a bit further back to, say, 20 years ago. In both cases, I come across many reasons for me to ask myself: “What was I thinking?” Or I’ve simply had reasons to just be bemused. All in all, every new experience I’ve walked through, both good and, umm, not so good, has been fodder for my “wisdom bank”. So, how much wisdom could I possibly have banked by age 62? How about at 77? And what about at 89?
Granted, there are those who argue that an increase in age doesn’t automatically mean a corresponding rise in wisdom. And to you I’d say: absolutely! After all, that saying: “a fool at 40 is a fool forever” didn’t just show up out of the blue and for zero reason. There are definitely those who may give you and I pause regarding this post of mine. However, the general truth is that, even with such people, they have nuggets of wisdom to share with whoever cares to listen, even if those nuggets come from years of making absolutely crazy wrong decisions.
For some reason, I have always been drawn to those much older than I. When I was 16, it was for those 28 and older. I found my peers to be boring, leaving little to offer me (snob that I was). I have found though, as I’ve aged, that my attraction to those who have gone before is really to gain something that cannot easily be gleaned in my current pool. The elderly has that…something. Do you know what I mean?
All this to say, I hope the Western society doesn’t continue on current trends of youth worship. The young have their place, sure, but I would say that a good part of that place is sitting and listening to those who have gone before. Friends, having shoulders to stand on is an incredible gift because, from that vantage point, imagine the view. Imagine the potential height a leap from there can reach!
Your homework today is simple. Love on someone in the “getting-up-there” bracket today! 😉
2 thoughts on “Gracefully aging”
Well put. As I approach 70 I review the wisdom and value addition from many others a decade or more older and I. Yes, I note the high cost in the lives of peers and olders who made wrong choices way back then and are still reaping the painful harvest of those choices made in their 20s and 30s. So I dread to see some choices that some young ones are making now because I can say ‘I have watched this movie before and I know how badly it ended’
Exactly right. Well said. Thank you for commenting!