As we age, we strangely accumulate wisdom at random moments. Sometimes, we don’t even realize we’ve pulled it off until someone points it out to us.
Today it occurred to me that I have accumulated some wisdom. Some of it on my own, some by watching others exhibiting their wisdom. Either way, it’s kind of cool. Yeah, it’s a combination of tooting my own horn, and showing you that you too can do the wisdom thing.
Let’s start with the observation thing first. I have two good friends who are entering a new season in life. Each of them is facing a gigantic change in their lives. Each of them has a spouse with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.
None of us want to face the sort of situation that they are up against. Yet I’m gaining wisdom by contact with them. They are both exhibiting grace, calm, and love. They aren’t running away from the problems, but instead finding ways to continue their romance. I admire them, and the fortitude they display, in the face of trying circumstances.
I have spent weeks praying for them. Hoping God reaches out and touches them with the love I know they need. They know as well as I that you can’t earn grace, because it’s bestowed. I hope they find it bestowed soon.
Today a coworker came to me with thanks for some advice I’d given several weeks ago. So as not to embarrass them, I will not say what the advice was, but it was a gratifying moment for me. I had done something rare for me: I listened to their problem, evaluated all that they’d told me, and waited until they finished before answering.
And then I used the accumulated wisdom that was layered like bluing on my shell. I had relevant experience to the problem at hand. I did not go on and on about the proper course of action. I merely laid out what would be the best course to save them some serious agony: the kind of agony that ultimately results in you being in dire straits. The kind of advice that someone with a lot fewer years on their chassis had no way to accumulate. The kind of wisdom that comes with age and damage you pick up from not listening to others.
Maybe that’s what we should all be doing: listening to the wisdom of others. It is often said that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Using them in the proper ratio is what most of us miss in the game of life.
Age. It’s allowed me to pay attention, and it’s giving me the skills to not just do better in my life, but to help others in theirs. I really would rather be an example than a cautionary tale. Seems that may be working out after all.