“Some people never seem to learn from experience. No matter how often they had seen the lion devour the lamb, they continued to cling to the hope that the nature of the beast might change. If only the lion could get to know the lamb better, they argued or talked matters over……………” ~ Emma Goldman
Science says that as people grow older, they grow wiser. In other words age and wisdom appear to be positively correlated. Science also says that while older people’s brains slow down, their knowledge and experience help them make better decisions. They have more patience, more tolerance, more time and lower stakes in life.
As a result they are thought to be wiser than their younger counterparts. But we also know from science, that the brain shrinks with age and there is a natural decline in cognitive function leading to problems like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
All this is what science says.
Many of us do not grow as human beings
Our experiences say something different. We learn from our experiences and our mistakes. A younger person with greater experience of life will possess greater wisdom than an old person who has never been out of his circle and thus has no real experience of life.
But what is even more surprising is that while all of us get older, many of us do not grow as human beings, as social individuals, in spite of whatever we go through. Thus you will find people repeating their mistakes, even if they continue to spell doom. For them growing old does not translate to becoming more wise.
Wisdom may come with age, but there’s no guarantee
Wisdom may come with age, but there’s no guarantee. We think that all senior citizens are wise —but that is not so. It is silly to believe that all we have to do is wait to grow older in order to become wise.
Wisdom doesn’t come from time it comes from experience. if you haven’t experienced anything in your life that you can learn from, you will not end up being wise.
“There are some people who never learn, few people learn by experience as far as I have ever seen”
People don’t learn from their experiences because they shut their eyes to reality. They like to live in a world of make belief where everything is great for them. They don’t want to grow old so they indulge in activities more suitable for the younger generation. Thus you will see elderly men and women dressed up in clothes meant for the young, they dye their hair and go for facelifts to try and hold time still, they talk in the modern lingo and don’t realize how ridiculous they sound aping the young. They don’t seem to understand that growing old in a dignified manner is an admirable thing to do.
Fail to take advantage of the opportunities
Most people don’t understand that when things go wrong, when they make mistakes and face enormous trouble, that is their opportunity to learn and move on. Since they do not accept these mistakes, they repeat them time and again. They fail to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way and hence stunt their own growth and development as good, decent and wise human beings.
I will end with a wise quote from American actress and comedienne, Estelle Getty, “Age does not bring you wisdom, it brings you wrinkles.”