An interesting thing about getting older is that the more experience one has, the greater the temptation is to think they know everything. There are several problems with thinking this way. For starters, let me be clear – you don’t, despite how highly you think of yourself. It doesn’t matter how intelligent you are, you will always have much to learn. Inside each of us, pride is at war with humility. For the arrogant, we know which side is winning. For the humble, it is still to be determined.
The saying, “with age comes with wisdom”, is often true but not always. Some people never learn. But a substantial portion do, which is why they deserve our respect, especially when it comes to the older generation. They’ve been through so many experiences, each building on the previous ones. They built lives that have long since outlasted the storms. It is often why they are so full of advice for younger generations, to help steer them clear of the pitfalls that brought nothing but trouble.
But this presents an issue. If trying to help others, be careful when listening to their struggle. When younger people explain what is troubling them, our tendency is to downplay their struggle because we are survivors of similar events. However, with the amount of time that’s passed, we’ve moved well past the feelings we had while going through those things and this brings significant frustration to the ones living in them this moment. When you make anyone’s problems seem trivial, they will resent you for not taking them seriously. They want their voices to be heard and to be understood. When you offer guidance, do so in love.
It is important to note, learning from others isn’t a one-way street. We can also learn a great deal from people younger than us, as well as those from other walks of life. To do so, we must be willing to put aside our ego and pride. Realize you haven’t seen it all. You haven’t done it all. We tend to think we have, but when you stop and think hard about it, how true could that possibly be? Look at history as a whole. Regardless of how long you believe we’ve been around; the human life span is insignificant in comparison to the whole. For those that have the courage and resources to leave the comfort zone of home, they will discover there is a big world out there.
Life is filled with wonderous excitement and experiences. Live well and you too can gain experiences of the ages and share them with the rest of us.