The Wisdom of Youth – Or The Folly of Old Age


I have been blessed on my travels through this world to meet people who have taught much that enabled me to re-evaluate time worn wisdom.

My personal experiences of working with the elderly over a two year period and observing and listening to their perspectives I came to believe more and more that a life without purpose and meaning is a life not worth living. For many older people once they have undertaken the roles life has presented them with, they are left with huge amounts of time to fill. To end ones retirement years as many do, by watching the television screen dish out superficial programmes in the name of entertainment, must numb the real heartbreak of feeling useless in a Universe that appears to treat them as someone to be fed and watered, where real communication is lacking and a loneliness and emptiness of purpose is their lot.

There was a time when the “senior” years was regarded as a time for the “wisdom of the elders” – perhaps in some cultures this remains true, but here in the U.K. this reflection does not ring true.

Yet the wisdom of living a life of purpose and meaning with knowledge that we are part of a universal consciousness and not simply a small human being of little importance was emphasised for me when I met a young ex Israeli Soldier who shared much of his perspectives of his life’s experiences with me. Yet where will the future find him say in forty years into the future?

When young we do not give thought to how we will spend the time available to us perhaps we are physically challenged and can no longer do the things that inspired us as a youth. To take some time and reflect on this could be useful and prevent long years of misery. Sadly this was the lot of some of the residents I worked with as I attempted to bring new energy and inspiration into their lives, some responded but most had given up the ghost long before I arrived in their lives.

I must concede that age is not a factor in wisdom, only experience can teach wisdom, not books, not movies that at best can point a way and at worse be a total distraction from the very need to take up the challenge of first- hand experience. Listening to the wisdom of our hearts may be the first step. That in itself is a challenge in the clamour of the noise of polluting forces as it succeeds in pulling us as far away from our hearts and souls as it is possible to go.

As a progressive and evolving being,

man is where he is that he may learn

that he may grow;

and as he learns the spiritual lesson

which any circumstance contains for him,

it passes away and gives place

to other circumstances.

James Allen

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