I came across these verses this morning…
“I thought, ‘Age should speak; advanced years should teach wisdom.’ But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty that gives them understanding.”
It is not only the old who are wise, not only the aged who understand what is right.
What wisdom those verses share! Sometimes we automatically assume that just because someone is older than us that make him or her wiser. In fact, sometimes we assume that just because someone has more experience in a certain area than us – which they must know what they are talking about, and be wiser than us.
I think we’re wrong to blatantly assume that just because somebody has more skills or experience or years living on the planet than us…that they are more likely to be right in their thinking than we are.
In fact, I’ve seen many people who are very experienced in certain areas of life – very wrong about things at times.
Do you think you’re any wiser today than you were five years ago? Do you think you’ll be wiser still in another five years? I hope the answer to both questions is an emphatic “yes.”
One of the benefits of growing older is getting better. And we get better by learning. I’m talking about acquiring usable nuggets of wisdom that can change our lives.
I’ve talked about my own life insights and re-packaged them in lots of ways but here’s another attempt to condense some of the things that make me wiser than I was.
For starters, I’ve learned that as long as I’m willing to learn, I can learn. Just as important, I’ve become more open to learning by realizing that the fact that I’m wiser today doesn’t mean I was foolish or incompetent before.
I’ve also come to accept that that no matter how old I am, my life and character are works in process and that there will always be a gap between who I am and who I want to be.
I’ve learned that it’s easy to mask moral compromises with rationalizations and that my character is revealed not by my words or intentions but by my willingness to do the right thing even when it costs more than I want to pay.
I’ve learned that my character is more important than my competence and that being significant is more important than being successful.
I’ve learned that I often judge myself by my good intentions but that I’ll be judged by my last worst act.
I’ve learned that the surest road to happiness is good relationships and that striving to be a good person is the surest road to good relationships.
Finally, I’ve learned that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional and that it’s not what happens to me that matters most but what happens in me.
Yes, it is no secret; today (21 Feb) is my Birthday. Since last night, numerous people have been wishing me verbally or through sms. This year I received the most wishes (thanks to FB everybody remember my birthday). It got me thinking, have I become wiser today than yesterday . But to me, whether I am wiser or not, what really matters is whether I have made any difference in my life and others….This can only be verified by the people around me. If you think I have contributed to the positive change in you, then I am more than happy aging more and more…. If I have not made any difference to anyone in the past year, than maybe, I have just wasted another year of my life. I pray that this coming year will be a better year.
In my humble opinion, the older we get, we don’t just get wiser but the closer we get to day we will leave this earth and enter to a new world (Muslims refer to it as Alam Barzakh). I think we should all remember this, and make sure what we do or will do prepares us for the next ‘life’.