Wisdom of Old Age

Sunday Morning Musings:  This week I celebrated yet another birthday (as did some of my friends), so I thank you for your birthday wishes.  However, getting older (I know it is just a number!) does have both positive and negative aspects.

On the negative side, there seem to be many more issues than positive ones. Officiating at funerals of people younger than me is not so uncommon.   I know that death is inevitable even though many people don’t want to accept such a fact.  None of us knows when our earthly time is up but we all like to think that death isn’t going to happen until we reach “old age”. Surprise!  Age is only one possibility.

But there are other negatives to getting older.  Health issues become much more prominent and it seems to take longer to recover.  Fortunately, living in a country that provides “universal” health care allows us to have procedures that would have been too costly for the average person to afford. Of course, as someone once said: “The opposite of living a long live is not the better option”.

On the positive side, being a senior citizen gets me a discount in many places.  For me, one of the best things about getting older is that hopefully I gain some wisdom along the way.  Notice that I am differentiating between wisdom and knowledge.  I hopefully gain both, but I really prefer wisdom. Wisdom is the food that nurtures my soul.

I am also wise enough that know that wisdom and advanced age don’t necessary coincide, but if one reflects on the life experiences one has, hopefully wisdom can be gleaned from them.  However, I sometimes think wisdom may just be an old wives’ tale (or old wise tale) and may or may not hold much truth at all.  I have told my grandchildren that they would catch pneumonia if they didn’t wear a coat.  The response I got was that pneumonia is a virus or bacteria which are not caused by not wearing a coat.  What are we teaching our children these days?

So how does wisdom feed my soul?  The answer for me lies in the searching that is required.  For many years I felt that I had to have all the answers and probably thought I had them.  I was also taught not to question so-called truths, like the Bible and the Church.  Wisdom has taught me that I should question them.  I cannot take the Bible literally, nor should I.   I cannot accept that the church is always right and to have a different thought or opinion automatically makes me wrong.  Wisdom tells me that there are things that will never be known; that we are good people who should be loved regardless of our actions; that if I think I have all the answers, I haven’t asked all the questions.

Wisdom may not be limited to old age, but if we think about all the things we have experienced we just may become wiser.

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