We’re not getting older, we’re getting better! And I have proof.
Think about our life stages. As infants and children, we are exposed to the values, lessons and perspectives of our parents and other adults in our lives, perhaps grandparents, teachers, coaches, and neighbors. These influences shape our world view and our perspective of the world around us.
As teenagers and young adults, we enjoy enough freedom (hopefully) that we begin to accumulate our own experiences. Some of them are no doubt fraught with angst and other consequences, but they belong to us alone and can be stored in our future of “will never do again” or “that wasn’t all that bad.”
Our 30’s and 40’s provide us with a mantle of responsibility, perhaps raising a family or securing a job or career that provides us with satisfaction and a living. We are now in a life stage of developing a context which cradles our experiences. We can understand them within the big picture view we achieve in mid-life. Now, we’re living out the lessons we learned, complete with the meaning and interpretation we attach to them. Maybe we’re even teaching them to our own children.
As we enter our 50’s and beyond, we have the chance to perfect these life lessons learned within the context of accumulated wisdom. So, now that we’ve reached this point, there’s nothing to do but get better! We can enjoy what we’ve learned, maybe experiment with new experiences, all within the backdrop of the wisdom we’ve accumulated along the way.
They say that “youth is wasted on the young.” Ah, contraire! We get to where we need to be by the angst of youth, only now we have the wisdom to appreciate what we learned along the way.
What my world view has taught me is that experience + context = wisdom. Would you like to share your view?