Thursday, September 5, 2013

Age, Wisdom, and Destiny

In our youth-obsessed culture we have lost touch with wisdom, but, wisdom is the essence of Destiny. The deepening of wisdom is the whole point of our journeys here.

Wisdom can only be developed through the use of knowledge, over time. Knowledge itself comes out of experience. We need a lifetime to really achieve our destinies.

Instead of honouring and integrating all of our years of life, we chase after youth. We end up missing some of the lessons that are available to us. Youth has its place. Its joy and exuberance are worth hanging on to. Embracing the aging process and the wisdom, and wrinkles, that comes with it, allows us to grow throughout life.

We under-estimate how much our culture has lost by devaluing the wisdom and perspective of age. The pace of change has accelerated to the point that older people seem out of touch. Even the difference between my 14 year old nephew, and my tech-savvy self, is striking. When I compare him to my parents it is hard to believe they come form the same culture.

The question becomes, how do we integrate the wisdom of our aged population into lives that are being lived in a drastically different context? Perhaps in the same way that we use an ancient African philosophy to guide our modern lives. Rather than dismissing everything that our elders bring to the table we can look for value in their perspective, and apply it to our won context.

Just because grandma doesn’t understand the internet, doesn’t mean that her insights aren’t worth anything. Older people, with good character, can teach us a lot about being good people. They can help us balance our depersonalized world. They can remind us that people count. They can teach us how to use technology in ways that are uniting rather than alienating.

Don’t you think that our elderly relatives, and mentors, have more to bring to the table than the 20 somethings that are ruling our culture? Can’t they teach us about bringing substance back into our lives? I’d love to hear what you think.

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