“In youth we learn, in age we understand.” Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach wrote these words when she was seventy-five years old.
This is the best explanation of wisdom I have heard and I refer to this quote anytime I feel unhappy or overwhelmed. It brings me back to my center – to the place where I know who I am.
This “knowing” comes from the experiences I have had throughout my long life. I can’t find it in books or movies. I can’t discover it while speaking with others. I can only find it in myself.
By the time you reach your 60s, you have weathered countless sad and hurtful experiences. You have felt loss, heartache and pain. Sometimes you have felt strong and sometimes you have felt helpless. But, no matter what, you have always come through. You have never given in and retreated from life.
By our age, you feel less bound by rules and convention. You have an inner strength that radiates over all that you see and hear. This strength is the foundation of wisdom and you find yourself accessing it again and again.
You have become an “expert” in living. You sail through new challenges every day. You have learned to put troublesome circumstances and worry into perspective. By now, you are learning to value your wisdom and to draw on it consciously whenever you need it.
Your wisdom is a precious and renewable resource. It is always there for you. You can even enhance it by taking time every day to think how wise you have become and how grateful you are for your wisdom.
You can pray, meditate or practice yoga. Spiritual practises like these will help you to reach a higher level of awareness. They will lead you to a state of profound peace, further increasing your wisdom.
You can use your wisdom in your daily life, whenever you have a problem, no matter how large or small, by detaching yourself emotionally, looking at the problem through the lens of wisdom and consciously putting it into perspective.
Your accumulated wisdom can be a guide to younger people. It has the power to save younger generations from creating disaster and havoc in their lives.
You can apply it to just about any problem a person can encounter. As you observe younger people making decisions that will cause them pain, you can gently intervene with advice that will help them make better choices in acquiring better jobs, better partners and closer friends.
You may find it hard to convince younger people to take your advice, but, give it time. Your wisdom will guide you to the right words.
Eventually, people will respond to you and take a new look at their situations. In time, they will remember your wise words and choose new ways of living that will help them avoid the pitfalls of poor choices.
Looking from the perspective of decades of experience, you are acutely aware that wisdom is needed in today’s world.
From your vantage point, you see dangers in critical areas. You realize how the earth has changed in the 60 to 70 years of your life. You see how human suffering is increasing throughout the world. You know the economic dangers that are threatening the well-being of millions of humans.
You may feel that it is impossible to make an impact, but, your wisdom can make inroads into the deepest of problems. You are an authority on life simply because you have lived a long time.
You can start by taking advantage of the greatest tool that exists in a free country – your vote! By being fully informed about issues, you can vote with integrity and consciousness.
Wherever you go, and whoever you talk to, you can discuss issues and tell people why you are voting a certain way. Your example of being thoughtful and informed will influence people to vote more carefully and responsibly.
You can use your wisdom in other ways. In social situations, you can speak out when you see injustices. You can take a stand, calmly and dispassionately, on the issues that concern you. You can volunteer to speak about topics that affect all of us. You can write thoughtful letters to editors of magazines and newspapers.
Your wisdom radiates. Your actions speak loudly. Never think that you are a small, insignificant being. You are powerful on the world stage. The world desperately needs your wisdom.
Do you feel that you have gained wisdom with age? How are you using your wisdom to make the world a better place? Please join the conversation.
Tags Getting Older