Are you getting to that age where you feel “worn out”? Maybe you passed that milestone a few years back.
Around the age of 65, Lucious Seneca, a first-century Roman philosopher and statesman, said: “You may rate me in the worn-out class of those that are nearing the end.”
Maybe you can relate to Seneca’s dilemna.
He knew he was getting up in years, but he also knew he still had much to contribute to the people of his time.
Age seems to be the greatest dividing force in our society today. Everyone is instructed to be cognizant of their words and attitudes toward people that are of different culture, language, and color…but age still divides us. Everyone seems to be “ageist”…mostly, I believe, because of our innate fear of our own aging and ultimate demise.
Our society wants to cling to youth to avoid the looming specter of death.
The church wants a “young preacher” to attract the “young people.”
Politics wants “young blood” and “young ideas” to attract the youth vote.
The business owner wants “young, strong backs” to do the heavy lifting and long hours.
Our society prizes youth with no good rationale to show for this.
Other societies give high regard and respect to the wisdom of the aged and the elders, but ours…not so much.
We are enthralled with the young, thinking that somehow they have new and innovative ideas that are going to “save us all.”
The truth is, that wisdom comes with age and experience. Youth doesn’t come up with new ideas, because as King Solomon of ancient Israel said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
When the wisdom of age has rejected ideas and put them on the scrap pile of history’s tried and failed experiments, it’s not “new” or “innovative” for the next generation to pull those ideas from that scrap pile, give them a new coat of paint, and put them into use. In fact, it can be very dangerous.
Seneca wrote: “Put aside the opinion of the world. It is always wavering and always takes both sides.” “You are younger, but what does that matter? There is no fixed count of our years. You do not know where death awaits you, so be ready for it everywhere.” “Death will deliver the final judgement in your case.”
Let’s wrap this up. Age and wisdom is good. Those closer to death than you think you are (though you may not be) have much to contribute to the conversation. They’ve tried some of the very ideas you’re considering and can give you the reasons why the directions you are considering will ultimately fail you.
Youth has the illusion of being “new, and innovative,” but only in the realm of technology is this the case. In life, there is nothing new under the sun.
So, the next time you talk to someone from the “worn out class,” don’t dismiss their opinion as “old and out-of-touch.” They just might be able to save you the pain and misery of falling on your face.
Until next time,
Have a happy day. 🙂