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Wisdom is wasted...

Updated on July 7, 2012

She taught him, he taught me...

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Don't let it be wasted on you...

From a very young age, I have always enjoyed hanging out with the ‘older’ people…partly because the ‘elderly’, ‘traditionally’, are/were always given the utmost respect. Being that and believing that to be the case, I wanted to know about them and what type of knowledge and or wisdom they possessed that afforded them the privilege of such enormous respect. Unfortunately, not all ‘elders’ were/are known for their intelligence or wisdom-at least not in the ‘traditional’ sense. Besides, ‘traditions’ change…nothing and no one stays the same. Change is inevitable and it is not always good, or at least it does not or may not appear good, or even feel good, but it is necessary. Traditions are or may not be deemed 'traditional' either, for we all have our own views and takes on what is 'traditional' or not, as well.


Perhaps that is why I naturally gravitated to caring for and tending to the needs of the children, elderly, and or disabled. "Traditionally,' I was raised to believe that we take care of 'our own.' I believed and believe that whatever the age, everyone deserves and should be afforded the same amount of respect they expect, deserve, and or have earned. People that are unable to care for themselves, speak for themselves, and or care for themselves, should not be punished or mistreated or neglected or ignored. People that become disabled or become ‘elderly’ are often resistant and or hesitant to accept change, many are often set in their ways, and or are still holding to their 'traditions,’ behaviors, and or ideals. They believe their way is the ‘right’ way, their way is the only way, and there is nothing that they can learn from the ‘youth of today-’ perhaps because they feel disrespected, feel prideful, and or perhaps partly, because they fear becoming a ‘burden’ or do not, will not, cannot, accept, they need someone to count on, rely, and depend upon.


I am 42 years old, or at least I will be shortly, and I find that I am quickly becoming one of the elderly myself, but I still held to my ‘traditions,’ still try and hold to them… Sometimes however, when trying to keep and or maintain 'traditions,' such as caring for others, we must make sacrifices. Sometimes we sacrifice (or put on hold) our education in order to honor and or uphold 'traditions.'


Only, not everyone holds to the same 'traditions,' believes in them, recollects them, and or never adhered to them, or does not adhere or abide by them. I am in the ‘elderly’ category and I feel no more worthy of such respect than I did as a child when I was trying to earn it from my elders. Only, what happens when your 'elders' never give you or return that respect? Perhaps if I had any self-respect I would have realized I am and have always been worthy and deserved respect-a hell of a lot more respect than I have been given and or settled for.


My age and ‘experience’ may not match my education, or vice versa, depending upon which opinion you have formed or may deduce from the impression I leave or have left with you-based on your ‘knowledge’ of me. For I am speaking/writing from my own experiences, my own ideals, my own beliefs-I cannot speak to anyone else. 'Traditionally,' a HS diploma was about all one sought or aimed for...


Perhaps that is why I broke ‘tradition’ and pushed the idea and will continue to push the idea of seeking a ‘higher education.’ Being a good wife and mother was all I ever wanted to be-I am ‘older,’ though not necessarily wiser, and I am forced to start over, I never had a Plan B. I’d settle for one out of two, at this point, thus, failing my children cannot be an option.

Being that and given that, I am the 'elderly' person in my children's lives, I have to admit, I have learned more from 'today's youth'/ them, than they may ever learn or have learned from me. Nevertheless, if they haven’t learned anything from me, and or if I can ‘teach’/leave them anything, I pray they will never forget that trust/respect is earned and should be earned-respect/trust is earned not learned, give and get the respect you earn and have earned, give and get what is deserved. Words from the ‘elderly’ are not necessarily words from the ‘wise,’ and always, always, have a Plan B-because before you know it, you will be ‘elderly…’and the example and role model you set or have become, your posterity will/may see. You’re never too old, too smart, or too wise, there’s always time and room to learn. Just don’t wait until you’re my age to figure it out. My grandfather said, “Wisdom is/was wasted on youth.” Don’t let or allow it to be wasted on you, the way I fear it was wasted on me.

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