I’d like to make a case for wisdom.
When I was young, leaders of culture, leaders of institutions, thought leaders were all “older folks” – to me! That’s who we looked to for answers, for experience, and for guidance.
I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s in the Midwest – Milwaukee, Wisconsin – a member of the first generation after WWll, a generation whose first President was General Eisenhower, a generation that mostly had stay-at-home moms and fathers who could support the family with a decent job.
Later, my generation would receive the name: Baby Boomers. We were a generation that was expected to listen to adults, even strangers, to respect teachers, to sit in rows of wooden seats in classrooms with tall windows inside brick buildings that had been built before the Depression, taking in the learning of the educators, not speaking unless called upon. When we passed a police officer, we said, “hello, Officer,” with respect.
Was it the 60’s? What changed all of that?
While I remember those times, and I sometimes go back for visits in memory, I am not writing to say those times were better. I am a Boomer, entering The Wisdom Years, but I am not “old fashioned.” I know that something is lost and something is gained with the passage of time. Sometimes, I long to be young, to be starting out in the world, to be able to wear the latest styles without being stared at, to have a whole life ahead of me. But then, I think, would I really want to go through all of what life is, again???!
The point I do want to make, however, is that something is lost when the wisdom of the elders is not in the mix. Yes, computers, the Internet, and quickly changing technology does give us all something new, every day. Yes, startups make millionaires in just a few months. Yes, personal invitations are received via email and text now. Yes, it seems inevitable that expecting moms register their babies to receive the latest things babies need. Yes, it seems inevitable that we need new laws to make sure we don’t “text and drive.”
I could go on, but you can make your own list!
When I was young, I thought I knew everything! Who didn’t, who doesn’t?!
Now that so much of living has passed, I have at least a shred of humility, enough to say, I don’t know everything. It takes a lot for the Ego to even think that!
I guess, “something’s lost and something’s gained, in living every day…”
What is the Wisdom we have that’s worth sharing?