Does Age Guarantee Wisdom?
It’s surprising the things we take at face value, like the fact that we assume as we get older we get wiser. I’ve found in the last couple of years as I go through a major life transition, that it’s not the older people in my life that inspire me. I’ve found that the most negative and disabling thoughts, words and actions have come from people my age and above.
Does this surprise me? Not at all because I’ve never assumed that age makes us wiser. Quite the opposite I think many people use age to shut out new experiences and new thoughts because they think they know better! But in my opinion
“age has nothing to do with wisdom!”
What is Wisdom?
The Oxford dictionary defines Wisdom as “The quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgement” It is sensible to assume then that experience and knowledge lead to good judgement. However that’s not necessarily the case, it is much more to do with one relates to their experiences and acquired knowledge.
Take two people who go through a tough time, say their marriage ends and they have do deal with all the emotional and practical challenges. Some will use this experience to close up, become bitter, start to see life through a very narrow minded viewpoint. They may judge all the opposite sex in a particular way, they may think life’s been unfair and then they will carry this around for a while or forever.
Then there’s people who take this tough life experience, genuinely work with it, genuinely accept it and become so grateful for the pain, that they can not but grow. It’s not the easy route but it’s the one that ultimately leads to great understanding of self and life.
So here’s the truth about wisdom, it’s not about age it’s about being willing to work with your experiences rather than close of to them. It’s the ability to see past the said “reality” of life and to remain open to whatever may or may not be.
How To Identify a Wise Person
Well if I’ve learnt anything in my life that is to never assume anything about anyone. I’ve been horrified by some people from my generation. Their limiting views, their judgments on others based on gender, race, sexuality and religion. On the other hand I’ve been inspired by my younger friends openness and non judgement, their maturity that outstrips their age.
Fear is what causes closed mindedness
This clinging to keep things from changing, from seeing past what is known, to perhaps see something new and perhaps to shake their own reality. This is all fear based.
And the older we get the less fearless we become.
Yes fearlessness is what keeps us confined. Confined to what we believe to be “security” Confined to our homes, to our way of life, to the people we know and to everything we now label as “me”.
A wise person does not cling to a set of beliefs, they are aware that at anytime something can come along to disprove their belief. As we age we begin to see our beliefs as reality, never moving away from them even if something comes along to prove us wrong. All we do is change the experience to prove our belief.
So rather than say “Age makes us Wise” – Let’s say “Wisdom is cultivated not earned”
If you disagree with anything I say then that’s great because “All I know is I know nothing” – Socrates
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