I often catch myself in debates and arguments with an older member of my family. I thought that we just had differences of opinion, but recently I’ve realized that’s not it at all. I’ve found he is suffering from a disorder, a curse of such. It’s the curse of the older and “wiser” to believe the youth has nothing to teach them. That they, the older and thus wiser, have the end all know all answers; they’re wrong. Its comments like, “you’re still wet behind the ears” and “once you grow up, you’ll really start to get it” that can drive someone crazy. I am a junior in college; I work a full time job and still manage to pull great grades. I have a hard time believing that because I lack 30 years of “wisdom”, I have nothing to offer the world and more personally Uncle Jim. Who decides when someone is old enough to offer the world something?
I’ve coached a middle school wrestling team for five years now and it took until my second year to realize that I had also fallen into the curse of the wise. I was dismissing my “kids” ideas about the sport, simply because “I had done it longer than they have been alive.” It all hit me one day when a student looked at me and said “no, I’m not doing that way, this way works better”, he was right. I couldn’t believe that I had become the adversary that I was fighting against all these years. It was at that point that I decided to do two things. The first was to not accept comments like “your wet behind the ears” anymore. If someone disagreed with my ideas they would have to explain their rationale, they would not just get a free pass because they are older than I am. The second, more important epiphany, is that I am going to crusade against those statements by accepting ideas from people of all ages. Never again will I dismiss someone’s thoughts, beliefs, or feelings simply because of their age. This curse of the wise has spread its tyrannical might over societies long enough. I will spread the good word and fight the good fight because it’s about time the wise start listening to their youth. This I believe, wisdom should no longer be measured by the amount of years you’ve been on the earth but instead it should be measured by the amount knowledge you have to offer others.
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