Monday, April 09, 2007

Age and Wisdom

I am reluctant to even comment on this issue, but it is something that has been eating at me for the last few days. I'm going to be 34 later this year. And a funny thing happened after I jumped over that magical and dreadred number, the big 3-0. I got a little less eager to spout my knowledge out to whoever would listen. I got a little less sure that I was correct ALL of the time and in all things. I can honestly say that I know more now at 34 than I did at 29. That's just 5 short years, but so much has happened in that time. My knowledge of all things has indeed grown, but that also makes me stop and think of this: I know that I have learned more since I was in my 20s. If this statement is true, then although I know more now at 34 than I did at 29 I am afraid that I know less now than I will at 39. And so on and so on. Does that make sense? It certainly makes me a bit more careful in what I say and do. I certainly don't want to embarass future me. I did that enough in my 20's. :-)

In my 30's, I have been striving to remind myself that humility is one of the best ways to build your knowledge because it helps to keep your mind open. In my 20's, I had something to prove to both myself and other people. I was breaking free! And sometimes hurting people (inadvertently, of course) in the process. In my 30's, I have less of a need to prove to other people that I am correct and more of a need to prove to myself that I am correct. And "Correct" has also taken on a different meaning in my 30's. To me, correct also means "Kind". "Gentle". "Nice". Not just "Right".

Now I actually waver less in my own beliefs, but I am much more likely to let things go when when someone holds a different position than my own. I do admit, though, that I have made some mistakes in this area during the past few days. It is very difficult to see someone younger than yourself writing things that you know are untrue and NOT say something. That certainly does make me feel the gusto of 24 again. :-) But, I am trying to make sure that future 39 year old me can look back at this currently 33 year old version of myself and be proud that I was trying to grow in mind, spirit, and humility.


moey said...

I just turned 35 and I'm with you on this. My little motto these days is It's better to be righteous than "right." I try to live by that and, basically, mind my own business. I've got so much of my own to mind, that I can hardly have time figuring out where to start with someone else's. LOL!

kitkat said...

Hi Moey! Nice to "meet: you! I think that I was by your blog earlier today - you had that great soup post that Brandy linked to, right? Thanks for stopping by! I love your motto. I'm glad that I'm not alone on this.

Jenny said...

Ditto! I was such a zealot (about everything!) in my early 20's. When my son was born (I was 28) humility smacked me in the face and continues to do so almost daily!