"The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible and achieve it, generation after generation." - Pearl S. Buck-The older I become the easier it is to look down my long nose of experience at the foolishness of young people. My nineteen-year-old daughter sometimes accuses me of being condescending. I find myself guilty of subtle and not-too-subtle put downs.
It embarrasses me.
Why is it that "mature wisdom" so often comes across as just being tired and obnoxious?
The truth is, we boomers do have something to say to younger generations. We do have experience and wisdom they should hear and take to heart.
It is also true we should remember what it was like to be young. We should remember that our foolishnes and lack of prudence served us well at times--and even served our causes and our communities well.
The older I become, the less risks I take, the less confidence I have. Is this humility? Or is it fear of failure? Is this wisdom? Or is it a longing for security and comfort?
Physiologists tell me at my age the messages from my brain travel a bit slower to the rest of my body, reducing my reaction time: making it impossible for me to ever beat my daughters at PlayStation. In my heart I know it's true. But I also know it isn't that hard to stay in great physical shape (I'm not too shabby there) and to keep one's mind sharp.
I've had tons more experiences and have gained generally more understanding of the world and of people than teenagers and those under thirty. Of all people, I should not fear risk. People of my generation should not be afraid. We've lived life. If it all plays out badly for us, if we lose our lives, what of it? We will all fall sometime. Death will come for every one of us.
We should not fear risk.
But we do.
And the young don't.
That is why they will continue to acheive miracles and the impossible.
If we are not careful, we'll find ourselves sitting in rocking chairs with our feet extended in the ground trying to put on the brakes to the dreams of our children and our grandchildren when we should be encouraging them and cheering them on...
...when we should even join them in their great risk taking.
Bless you my children. Open my eyes and remind me what it is like to live without fear. Help me to accept risks. I only ask in return for you to take time for me so I may give good counsel and so I may hear and share in your wonderful stories!