age ≠ wisdom

Just because you have lived on this earth for a certain amount of years more than another, really truly does not mean you know more, or you understand the situations one is going through.

Say you’re 50. You’ve been married once or something, I dunno, and your parents are still alive and you have had a relatively smooth life. Perhaps you have dealt with some really harrowing things, hey, I don’t know.

But just because you have 25 years on me, does not mean you can be like ‘ohhhh I know exactly what you’re going through.’

No. You don’t. Fuck off.

This isn’t to say that you haven’t had more experience; obviously, duh, you have 25 years on me. But each and every single fucking human on this planet has completely different experiences, completely different reactions to said experiences, and completely different in-built issues.

Wisdom is knowledge through experience. Not age.
Louder for the people in the back?
Wisdom is knowledge through experience. Not age.

I won’t take away from the fact that having a few more years life experience (especially if you’ve fit a lot into those few years), you may be able to shine some light on a situation better, or you can remember when you dealt with similar things at a similar age.

Yes, experience = wisdom, and typically age = experience, so naturally one would think age = wisdom. But this is not necessarily it. Just because someone experienced something, doesn’t mean they learnt from it. And just because you’ve lived a certain number of years more, doesn’t mean you have experienced what someone many years younger than you has. If you have lived a life where the majority of it has been the same; whether you had relationships with the same types of humans, whether you were in a similar career field most of your life, whether not much of your life has changed in many of those years (and there’s nothing wrong with this), then all of those years has not automatically given you wisdom. It’s just given you age.

As stated in this article in the Huffington PostUrsula M. Staudinger has spent decades thinking about, and studying wisdom. Wisdom, as she told The New York Times, consists of “self-insight; the ability to demonstrate personal growth; self-awareness in terms of your historical era and your family history; understanding that priorities and values, including your own, are not absolute; and an awareness of life’s ambiguities.”

Understanding that priorities and values, including you own, are not absolute. One thing I have noticed with my older counterparts is that they paint their experiences as absolute. Because they have experienced something one way, that is the way it is; that is life. End of. When in actual fact, there are millions of other ways life can be lived and experienced: just look at literally anyone else in the world.

If you are a white person, you cannot speak of the experiences of people of colour. If you are a heterosexual person, you cannot speak for anyone in the LGBTQI community. If you have always lived in a first world country, you cannot speak for the lives of those in poverty.

Yeah, okay. So you were 25 once and trying to navigate life in the dating scene while trying to establish yourself in a career and deal with ever-changing friendships and the like. This does not mean you know what I’m going through or know exactly what it’s like or completely get it. 

The simple fact is really just that you don’t. And if you are an older counterpart, check your language and your accidental condescension to the younger lot. You don’t simply know more because you’ve lived longer.



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