Recently, I went to an old rock star concert from the 80s. Before she came on, I rushed to the front to be with the real rockers, the real fans of my era. As I stood in awe of the performer and I looked around at the people that surrounded me, I noticed I was in a state of gratitude. I was thankful for the fine lines, gray hair, and bald heads that surrounded me.
I’ve always respected the wisdom that comes with age. In high school, I quickly became friends with the seniors and juniors when I was a sophomore. I knew to learn the ropes of going to a new school I had to learn from the upper classmates.
Growing up I gravitated toward my older cousins and older friends in the church so I could learn from them. I was always the youngest in my group of peers. I chose that so I could know more than I was supposed to for my age.
Today, I believe that generation does not exist. Because of technology, you do not have to get around the older and wiser to learn. You can barricade yourself in with your laptop and learn all you want to by watching videos and reading. But no matter how much you watch, read or listen nothing comes close to hands-on learning from experience.
Learning from experiencing it. As my friend calls it “bumping your head” is the best teacher. When you learn from the experience you never forget it. You might repeat it several times but you eventually catch on and you don’t forget it. And with that comes the fine lines, the gray hairs, the wisdom that we’ve earned.
Being older and wiser used to earn you respect but I’m not so sure about that now either. Because of technology we’ve raised a smarter generation who believes smarter is better than wiser. If you’re not sure of that then share your wisdom with someone half your age and watch them look at you crazy.
I’m thankful for my generation. My lack of technology pushed me to learn from others, to respect my elders for their wisdom. Understanding that hands-on and bumping my head was the best teacher. It earned my gray hair and fine lines and I’m happy that it did.