Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Does wisdom really come with age?

The older, the wiser is something I have been hearing almost at every junction of my life. But do people really become wiser with age and experience. What if I ask the question: What if people don't learn from their experience even after 55 years? Why should the old saying be viewed in a general manner that is meant for every single individual.

Well, when I see some old people around me, I wonder if they are any wiser than they were about fifty years ago. The same jealousies, anger  . .  . and other agressive emotional states that they should have gotten rid of years ago. I wonder whether they can set any example of being wise and carving themselves to be individuals worth emulating. In fact, I find some young people who are worth emulating in spite of them having no "experience," as the world would want them to have. Of course, one can learn from anyone or anything and that's why I seem to disagree with the phrase, 'With age, comes wisdom.'



Placing emphasis on the old and connecting wisdom to them makes things difficult for the so called old people as well. Let's illustrate this. An old man/woman wants to be naughty and frivolous but the wisdom tag will prevent them from doing so and so they start pretending to be wise, as the adage says and hence they are not themselves (read foolish and naughty). Well, why place the burden of wisdom on individuals who don't want to live so. Well, I guess I am stretching this a bit too far.

This again brings us to the old discussion of labelling and tagging. It all boils down to that. Every single word is loaded with a trillion contexts which continue to baffle and exasperate.

Age and wisdom, don't always walk hand-in-hand. Maybe some get wiser with age and some get aged but not wise.

Well, it's for you to tell me which one holds good.

Image: Internet

62 comments:

  1. Rightly said, Ma'am!i sometimes get exasperated by the childish and churlish behaviour but remain silentfor the fear of getting admonished as a 'green girl'!
    -Portia

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  2. sorry! I misprinted my comment! I was saying, sometimes I get exasperated by the childish and churlish behaviour of some elders but remain silent for the fear of getting admonished as a 'green girl'!
    -Portia

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    1. If we are wise enough to identify the childish behavious then I guess it's just fine.

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  3. what i think is:

    men get wise(r) with age and it lose with age (a baby with early childhood- an old man with his second child hood, one gets graded up but other degraded.....)....every stages of human devolopment, there is certain transmutation and transposition of his wise.......

    -asif

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  4. I think the idea was that with experience one becomes wiser as there are stuff you learn only through experience. Sadly, not all of us learn...

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    1. Sadly it is true that many just grow older, they don't learn.

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  5. I agree, generalizations don't work. I certainly know people who "are wiser than their years" and also people who will never learn and repeat the same behaviour over and over. But in the other hand as someone who is now in the older phase, I certainly think that for many people experience does bring a certain wisdom.

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    1. Welcome hocam to the meanderings. Rightly said. Experience does teach us many things, though. It is up to us to learn or not.

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  6. Right Mrs Sus, age doesn't equate to wisdom. Look at me, you call me Age, but I certainly am not Wise! :))

    I think we become truly wise when we fill our place in the universe, i.e. when we know who we really are. That can come at any age and in as many forms as there are people. You think so, Mrs Sus?

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    1. Age, Age, you are indeed wise.

      Yes, it can come at any age and not when we age (biologically).

      Busy, busy, these days?

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  7. I also feel the same thing.I have seen many old women who are covetous and have no generosity of spirit..

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    1. Welcome Renu. Quite true. I don't see much wisdom in many biologically old people.

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  8. I think if you choose to remain open to new ideas--that is real wisdom. Those who are older and refuse to change are doomed to be grouchy old people. I want to always be surrounded by the young who will challenge me.

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    1. Grouchy and foolish. Betty, there is also a reverse state these days, the young are acting very old and pessimistic. Strange!!

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  9. I've spent a lot of time with old people these last few years, and I'm not so young myself. I don't think age alone, brings wisdom. Some people do not reap the benefits of their experiences. As for myself, I think I'm wiser than when I was young, but not wise enough to have gems of great guidance for others.

    As always, a really good topic. Take care Susan.

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    1. You are indeed wiser, Myrna.
      Thanks for the warm words.

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  10. Hey great blog!!! Keep up the good work!!! You have an open invitation to follow my blog anytime you want!!! Have an awesome day!!!

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    1. Welcome Running4him. I will sure swing by your palce when I have the time. Thanks for coming by and adding your insight.

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  11. i sometimes look myself in the mirror and am at a loss to find the relationship between age and wisdom...

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  12. Susan; the thought has occured to me many times but you are the one who has written about it. As far as religion is concerned, all knowledge corrupts and hence the best is 'child-like innocence'. However, practically, it is considered a great thing becoming wiser. However, I am not sure whether age has anything to do with it. Eric Byrne's Transactional Analysis about our ego states of Parent, Child and Adult is independent of biological age

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    1. Age does not definitely have anything to do with wisdom. A child seems far more wiser in certain aspects of life.

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  13. If one doesn't learn from the mistakes that one has made, then he/she is no wiser and you can ignore such people and move on.

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  14. I have seen ignorance in every age group, my daughter who is obviously quite a bit younger than I has been my greatest teacher of life.I in turn have been able to help my mother gain some wisdom. The key I agree is to have an open mind and to learn from your choices good or bad. I know some real idiots of my age, sadly most of my friends are younger, simply because of my adventurous nature, my peers are not so into the things I do. Like going to a punk rock concert of my nephews. I always have so much fun, watching people and seeing the life that is there. That is the best thing I have learned in this crazy world, wisdom does not mean you have to be boring. Truth is at the bottom of everything, true to you and honest with others. That is my piece of wisdom to share. Thanks for the topic, it is so appropriate for what I just went through.

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    1. Open mind and a seeking heart is what matters, Jan and you are so right in pointing that out. Strange, I never associated the word wosdom with "boring" but I guess it does become so when in the cirlces of the pedantic.

      Glad that this post touched you in some way :)

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  15. Perhaps it should be ageing brings with it opportunities to earn wisdom. We do tend to accumulate life experience as the years go by and this helps us to deal with situations differently than a young version of our selves would. That is the plasticity of the ever-learning brain. For example, a 70 year old doctor would be a better clinical examiner than a 17 year old student. Of course, whether he could deal with heartbreak and loss better is up for discussion. Perhaps we do not grow any more detached or understanding as we grow up. Perhaps these are qualities some people possess and others just don't and the years don't drop them in your lap either.

    But I have seen one thing. Older people are more patient somehow. They are not in turmoil if something they want is taking too long in coming. Perhaps it's because they've already waited many years for it.

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  16. Oh, and I just remembered something Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote in The Bed of Procrustes, "In creating modernity, we have also created youth without heroism, age without wisdom and life without grandeur."

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    1. I must get hold of that book, sometime. Karishma, I amaze at your ability to quote. You would make a fantastic literature teacher :)

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  17. Well written Susan...can't agree less. I feel like an old rag when my kids complain that I don't understand something...so I am not wise by their standards..:P

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    1. Ah, Janu, maybe certain thing associated with gadgets and so and that does not mean you aren't wise. I see so much wisdom in what you write.

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  18. Hello Susan.
    Interesting write up & I agree with you in parts.
    I always say we are born stupid & with age we gain knowledge and understanding.
    Thanks for sharing & congratulations on your new domain!
    Seems this week is one celebration after the other for you (smile).

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    1. Reminds me of Mark Twain's words, "I was born intelligent but education ruined me.

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  19. I surly dont think so .. I mean check out what people get to do when they grow older they seem to be doing more sillier things ...

    Its not just aging its the experience people get while growing which is more important .. that experience is what makes a person wiser ..

    excellent article
    Bikram's

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    1. Unanimous, I see. I see no one against what I'm saying. Good good.

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  20. I believe one grows in lifetimes and not one life Susan. I may be much much older than my grandfather if you will - Just my belief. Loved reading this! By the way loved the new website url... rocks!!!

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    1. Lifetimes! Now what is this?

      Yes, even I share your thoughts.

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  21. "With age comes wisdom, sometimes age comes alone" :) Great thoughts and reflections. Congrats on your new site...

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    1. Age comes alone and that is so sad.

      Thanks for the wishes, Sulekkha.

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  22. Hihi, Susan, gosh I do not know, I think I am wiser today than those twenty years ago.;) Maybe more experienced - that is inevitable as of course I have been around longer and done or more things. I guess maybe as everything else, even this statement is relative - it depend if those old people have really lived.;) If they only sat on their butt and done nothing, then they can not outsmart the young ones that have tried more.;)
    Btw, can not believe you have never driven a car, but then I guess it all depends on one's needs.;)) I have heard that it is very expensive to own a car in India, is that truth?
    Have a great rest of the week dear friend,
    xoxo

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    1. Zuzana, you are wiser and lovelier as well. Sometimes some of us learn from what we undergo and some of us just have no difference.

      And yes, cars are very expensive in India. In spite of having a license, I did not have an opportunity to drive a care. Now that I'm married, I hope we will buy our own car and I will get to drive. Hopefully.

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  23. some get wiser with age and some get aged but not wise.
    True.
    I do believe I got wiser with age. Imagine what I was like before!
    Over the years I am calmer, more objective. Does that mean I'm good? no, but I am different from my younger years so maybe we just age.
    I don't know

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    1. Welcome, A Plain Observer. Even I feel that I have got wiser with age but when I observe some of my friends, I see no much change. But then how do I gauge what is happening within them.

      Thanks for coming by and sharing your insights.

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  24. Well I wouldn't generalize and say that Everyone matures with age and gets wise. It all depends on the individual, How they look at life, and how they learn the lessons that life teaches them and whether or not they take something from it. Age alone, is not the only criteria.

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    1. Life does not teach as well, at certain times.

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  25. I believe that wisdom coming with age is individualized. As we grow older we gain experience...that doesn't always come with wisdom :)
    Beautiful site, by the way! Great job :)

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    1. Quite true, Mary. SOmetimes one just ages and never learns. Perhaps they have learned certain things but not the most useful of things.
      Thanks Mary, I really wanted to get a site of my own.

      Delete
  26. Interesting question! I think people learn from experience..not sure if that is always wisdom? Some people just never learn.

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    1. Some don't learn at all, Nelieta and for such, life just goes on.

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  27. Well, Susan, I got you! Been sneaking at facebook to copy some of your quotes to post in my quotation blog. I rarely visit you, that is an honest confession from me, until Insomnia caught me in a firing line. Then, that famous big unsmiley Smile and your own domain! Is it expensive?

    http://southernlandlogus.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/susan-deborah-quotes.html

    To the question blog above. As am ageing to the third score and one, and through interaction with different levels of people and ages, cultures and nationalities, at different era; I would say, "wisdom doesn't come with age." Neither with a degree of education nor with a status in life. Wisdom is either acquired or built-in regardless of who you are and where you are!

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    1. Insomnia caught you infiring line - I like this line :) What happened, Leah? Why insomnia? Hope all is well.

      I did check the quotation blog and was quite shocked to see my name there. Now, you are an angel. Thanks (overwhelmed).

      BTW, what happened to your music blog?

      Delete
    2. And, let me add . . . my husband cannot believe that you have quoted me. It was a joke for him :)

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  28. I think you sum it up all pretty well when you say:

    "Age and wisdom, don't always walk hand-in-hand. Maybe some get wiser with age and some get aged but not wise."

    So true!

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    1. Smiles.

      Everyone seems to agree on this. So, I guess wisdom does not come with age!

      Delete
  29. agree. i too believe that age and wisdom, don't always walk hand-in-hand, but we certainly gain some knowledge over the years.

    hope you have a great week ahead, dear susan.

    big hugs!

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    1. Betty, glad to see you here. It has been such a long time. Big hugs and love back to you.

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  30. I so agree with you on this Susan. I want to grow old still being naughty that does not make me any less wiser!

    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.in/2012/02/lingering.html

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    1. Of course, Rimly. I can never imagine you old and grouchy, only young and smiling :)

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  31. People do get wiser with age, but their insistence of hiding facts (especially with themselves) stops them from becoming really wise. Since they have been programed to do certain things in certain ways and experience has even given them some success, they ultimately come to believe that there are only certain ways to do things. And they spread this propaganda to young people and corrupt their minds as well.

    But inside, they know what is right and what is wrong. They know what is being wise and they can be wise if they want to. But then, if something else has worked for them all their lives, why can't it work even now? Its a tough dilemma they face.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Quite an analysis of age and wisdom. This has given me a clearer understanding of things. I hear you about the dilemma. Even at 32, I face a dilemma about certain things, then how much more the 60 or 70 year olds.

      Thanks for stopping by, Rajesh.

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  32. Well, first of all, you have to know what wisdom is and look for it. We live in a world where people tend to think that all the answers are in books. Some people just err in life: they don't know there are lessons to be learned from life experiences. I come from a culture where we're supposed to look up and respect our elders. I don't know if it's because it's ingrained in them but once people reach 50 in my culture, you can see a change of attitude in the way they speak, the things they say, the way they behave towards younger people. I've spent the last 18 years in different Western countries and I am sorry to say that with the exception of a few people (who happened to be a 80+ years old nun and a couple of people born in the 40s), I haven't met a lot of wise people. I am befuddled by the lack of depth in the 50+ people I met or talked with. It's like they just glide through life. It's just sad.

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