Do you think wisdom comes with old age?
October 27, 2018
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That was the question my barber asked me yesterday. My answer was that I don’t want to believe I have wasted all 76 years of my life. I hope I have learned something from the things I have experienced.
BUT – If a man would spend his whole life trying to demonstrate that he is still young and with it – will he have attained to much wisdom there when he gets to his older years?
The zeal of youth is not the same thing as wisdom. Young people need mentors to open their eyes to see that there is more to the world than what they have yet experienced in their short lives.
When young people today feel they know what is right and it is their duty to prevent any contrary viewpoint from being heard, I must conclude that their mentors have lied to them. I can only learn to understand the world by listening to people who see the world differently than I do.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that what I believe is wrong and the other person is right. But how can I even begin to show the other person where he has gone wrong if I don’t understand the basis of his belief? Even when the vision of others is distorted it helps me to better understand truth if I can discern what is distorting their vision.
The greatest piece of wisdom that I have learned in my 76 years is that the truth is not dependent on me. Emotion and intellect can be either a help or hindrance in learning to understand truth. My perception is not infallible, I learn to see more clearly by listening to those who see what I have not yet seen.
A good understanding of truth makes a safe foundation for our lives. But truth without compassion is idolatry and that is a very shaky foundation.