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Age and Wisdom: the Dichotomy

Updated on December 14, 2010


When I was younger, I always revered the wisdom of my elders, however, I also thought I was wise, even though I was young. It used to incense me when people judged others as being "too young to know". Now, as a 55 something "crone" I have difficulty listening to younger people who seem to "know it all" and act as though they have nothing else left to learn.

Take for example the physician on the afternoon TV show "The Doctors". The guy is barely old enough to shave, and he is espousing his "wisdom" to all who are eager to listen. Sorry, but he has not been around long enough for me to even consider listening to. Yes, he has a degree. Does that make him wise? Not in my estimation. I would rather have listened to Robert Young who only played a doctor on "Marcus Welby MD" back in the day!

I think Dr. Sanjay Gupta is wise, and he is fairly young, so I do not turn my back on younger people entirely. And Dr. Oz is pretty cool too, but he is older than both of these men. And it is not just doctors who bug me. Rachel Ray bugs me. She is another one of those "know it all" types and her perkiness in and of itself annoys me. Get off your pedestal Ms are a "kid".

Don't get me wrong I am perfectly willing to learn from everyone and tell my students this in my classes. Just because I have more age and education, it does not make me wise. I welcome wisdom in all forms. But what grinds my gears are those who are "know it all's"...and they are the ones who later in life admit they did not really know as much as they thought they did earlier. Age does not determine wisdom, but it helps to have some experience to back up ones claims, and for some people even experiences do not make them wise.

I think ego is the issue here. We all need to have a bit of it in order to function I suppose, but it is disgusting to hear statements like this: "I am not a 'teacher' I am a DOCTOR ...a PhD." and I DESERVE to be called Dr. so and so.NOT! No one DESERVES to be called anything.Sorry. Respect is earned not demanded.

The realization that we are all just human is called for much of the time. Just because someone has a Harvard or Stanford degree does not make them a good teacher, a wise person or even a morally superior person. It was earned, but it need not be flaunted. We all need to remember we all wipe our asses each day. No one is better than anyone else...ever.

End of story.


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    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Thank you Lorlie...! "kids" in their twenties DO know everything don't they? hahahahaha

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      7 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      This unfortunately reminds me of my own son! He's 22 and has everything all figured out.

      Politics is a subject I refuse to discuss with him, since he has absolutely no idea what's really going on. He gets much of his information from his pals...

      Great read, Aley, thank you.

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA



    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      7 years ago from UK

      Anyone who needs a title to feel that they exist perhaps might have a problem :-)

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      thanks for your comment here fucsia!

    • fucsia profile image


      7 years ago

      I agree with you: no one is better than anyone else. The young people lack that kind of wisdom that you need to understand that we all learn from everyone, always. The knowledge is important, but do not serves if there is no the wisdom of integrate it with the reality, thing that we learn with the experience.

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Thanks Denise! Sorry you are getting the harsh weather there! More logs on the fire! :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Aley, it's been too long since I've visited your hubs. Amen to this one! I can relate...

      Hope all is warm and cuddly your way...getting a freeze in NC this past week.


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