The older I have become the more I have realized that aging is not really a bad thing. More importantly, I have realized more and more that many people we would classify as “old people” have a lot more wisdom than we would sometimes like to give them credit for. Sadly, this realization seems to never come when we are young enough to benefit from it. Perhaps it has only been a reality in my life, but I can look back on several moment in my life and think to myself, “Hmmm… if I would have only heeded [insert “old person’s” name]’s advice then I would not be in this awful situation.” Sadly, it seems like we need life to kick the crap out of us in order to get a clue.
Remember being young and thinking about how much a plague it is to get old. I mean, old people were so lame, and out of touch with reality, and for heaven’s sake they had no idea what it was like to be a modern day young person in this generation! Therefore, anything they had to say to us was stupid, and at the very least warranted a massive eye roll.
Many of us might read this and think this obviously applies to our kids. After all, if you have kids then you have countless stories of all the times they have disregarded your advice because they thought they knew better. However, there are still plenty of times that we are still guilty of this. The older I get, and the more continuing education I acquire the more I have learned one thing in particular… you could fill numerous Grand Canyons with amount of information I do not know. I would like to consider myself a smart person, however, there is still a lot that I do not know, and many things I have little to no experience with. Because of that I have grown to learn that when I inquire about things from people who have “been there and done that” it usually ends up working out better than when I try to figure things out for myself.
For example, I love my wife and I desire to be married to her for the rest of my life. I know that marriage takes a great deal of work to ensure that it flourishes. While I have read numerous books on marriage, I still went to quite a few older couples that have been together for many decades asked them, “How you guys make it work?” I knew that hypothetical knowledge could not replace experiential understanding that I did not have. This is also true for pretty much everything else. Of course age does not guarantee wisdom, but there are still several people older than us that know more than we do about things we are super ignorant about. Tap into that resource while it is still available to you.