“With age comes wisdom,” declared Oscar Wilde. “But sometimes age comes alone.” On the face of it we can’t honestly disagree with such, well, WISE words!
If you put a middle aged person in the same situation as a teenager (let’s say eighteen year-old), it is quite reasonable to expect, even ahead of time, that the older person will respond in a manner that is superior (calmer, more reasoned, more appropriate for the situation) to the younger person’s response.
Years of learning would certainly have a significant impact. Past experiences, which provide the opportunities for learning, would prove to be invaluable!
But nobody is born mature, or old. Nobody is born with such advanced capacity for making equally wise decisions. All of us, to different degrees, will have done things in our youth which we can consider to be poor judgement. That is a reasonable conclusion!
Some of us did things that have led to grave outcomes and consequences! These will always be part of our story…and yes – they do define us, and who we become, for better or worse!
Sometimes we look back with regret at decisions we made – actions we took or opportunities missed. We look at who we have become and either feel we have come ‘a long way’ or, perhaps, that we have missed our way towards fulfilling our dreams.
While such self-assessment is helpful in determining our next steps, they also serve as important reminders:
- Appreciate your younger self
- Do not deride, nor neglect, youth who make mistakes
- Be willing to offer guidance to all who you feel would benefit, and who are willing to receive it
- Recognize that everything you know today comes from lessons learned, some of which were learned based on experiences you had when you were young
- Keep learning
Youth is not ‘wasted’ on the young. Being young simply means someone has the opportunity to grow and is in the process of ‘becoming’ who they will ultimately turn out to be.
Youth is in itself a right that should be shared by everyone.