Another year older, another year wiser?

The_Persistence_of_MemoryWith 2014 drawing to a close, we’ve all become another year older, another year wiser, right?

I’m not so sure. But if so, I suspect the process doesn’t work the way we usually think. If time produces wisdom, it’s not because time allows us to see and experience new things, although it certainly does. It’s often because time gives us the chance to experience the same thing over and over, but from a different point of view each time.

I watch my parents as they laugh with their grandchildren and now great-grandchildren, and am thankful that all of them, the old and the young, have been granted this time in which to know each other. It’s a special thing. The elders are the roots of the family tree, the youngsters its fruit, and seeing one physically connected to the other offers a reassuring sense of completion. That’s life as it ought to be and too often isn’t.

There’s also something unique about the relationship between young and old, in part maybe because they treat time in much the same way. They are more at peace with the passing of time than the rest of us, the young out of ignorance and the old out of knowledge. They just let time happen, while those of us in the harried middle insist that it be put to productive use “doing something.”

On the other hand, it’s also true that time compresses as we age; the passing of a year is an eternity to the young but a flash to the old, much as a dollar is nothing to a millionaire, but to a hungry man it is a fortune. What time teaches most of all is that time itself is the greatest gift.

I look at my own children, now grown, and I appreciate the time that I’ve been given to see them grow into adults and make their own ways in the world. You know as I know that not everybody gets that good luck. The allotment of time is kind to some, cruel to many others, and all for reasons that are completely arbitrary.

But what I appreciate most about the passing of time is that it allows us to shift roles. No feat of imagination can allow a 13-year-old to see the world through the eyes of her 40-year-old mother or those of her 65-year-old grandmother. It’s just not possible. But that same 13-year-old can look at her six-year-old cousin on Christmas morning, and for a few moments, she can again see the world through six-year-old eyes. She can still remember what it was like to believe in Santa Claus, and she might also regret, just a little, the sense of wonder that she lost once that knowledge was gained. She has grown wiser.

Her mother, meanwhile, looks and knows what her daughter still cannot. She knows that at 13, her daughter’s exchange of innocence for wisdom has just begun. In the next few years, the mother will again experience the trauma of adolescence, but this time from an entirely different perspective. Through that process, she will learn a lot about herself and understand a lot more about her own mother as well.

And Grandma? She has seen it all, through the eyes of the six-year -old, the 13-year-old, the 40-year-old and now through those of the family matriarch.

It’s that shifting perspective from which wisdom is distilled. You can’t read about it; it can’t be taught. It is a gift only time can bestow.

Reader Comments 0

1466 comments
gotalife
gotalife

The President is all in on globalization and the free trade deal with Asia will pass with a simple voice  vote passed by both parties. He is normalizing  relations with more countries like Cuba and Iran. He is a transformational President updating policies like updating a computer. America 2.0 if you will.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@gotalife

Obozo's effect on America is equivalent to the Blue Screen of Death.

Try to remember what it's like to be an American, if you ever knew.  I kind of doubt that you do.

Americans don't need their neighbors to pay their bills for them and aren't so weak that they need trigger warnings to protect themselves agains microagressions.

Gruber voters are weak and stupid.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@LilBarryBailout @gotalife "Try to remember what it's like to be an American, if you ever knew.  I kind of doubt that you do."


I enlisted in the US Army during the Reagan Administration.


Whereas YOU . . . didn't.


I *know* what it's like to be a patriotic American.


Whereas YOU . . . don't.


gotalife
gotalife

We are no longer at war. Just using air against the jv team. Banks are lending that trillion they sat on to get more gop bailouts, the gop establishment ended the tea party and back to spending trillions. That is called stimulus. No more obstructions means the economy is wide open full throttle.

gotalife
gotalife

It reminds me of peace and prosperity under Clinton but he blew it with a bj.

Normd
Normd

@gotalife 

Actually, The way I see it is that the only thing he did wrong was not call a press conference and brag about the bj.  If I were a 50+ old man and got a bj from a 20+ woman, I'd certainly brag about it.  Just a man being a man, is all...

gotalife
gotalife

@Normd @gotalife Fine for a normal man like yourself but not a President in the oval office. Remember reagan and his family values bs.

straker
straker

stands


I wonder if he would excuse terminating a pregnancy if it meant saving the life of the mother?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@straker

I don't especially care.

Either you think women are autonomous or you don't, in my book.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

oh, teeee deeee....? I wasn't around when you posted this yesterday:

If you do not want a baby then do not have sex or at least use BC. No excuses in this day in age to have an unwanted pregnancy.

And that's why you feel all pregnancies* should be carried to term at gunpoint. Gotcha.

So what kind of criminal penalties do you place on electing to terminate a pregnancy? It's first degree murder, right? That'd mean the death penalty would be in play?

---

* I think you were willing to excuse "legitimate rape" victims if I read ya right.

td1234
td1234

@Nick_Danger Really? You do not believe there are consequences for the actions you take? Do you not believe you should be held responsible for what you do in life? Rewarded or punished accordingly for the actions you take?

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@stands_for_decibels  Only someone simply trying to stir the pot could possibly come to THAT conclusion, given the quote you provide.  That, or someone reading what they want to believe rather than what was written. 

"...carried to term at gunpoint..."  How ridiculous.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@stands_for_decibels @DownInAlbany Didn't see that post (that you "believe" were his words.)  If so, don't agree with criminalization.  Anyway, I'll jump out of that which I jumped into...seems to be an on-going war of the words...

Off to Lowe's (which I SWORE several months ago I would NEVER set foot in again)...but, got gift cards for Christmas.  I need a new grill. 


Play nice!

td1234
td1234

@stands_for_decibels What else do we do at the force of gunpoint? Pay taxes and abide by all the other laws of the land. 


It is about the choices we make in life. If we chose to have unprotected sex and get pregnant then we chose to provide for that child for 18 years. 

td1234
td1234

@stands_for_decibels Why? So you can FEEL morally superior? LOL If a doctor preforms an abortion then he/she is murdering another human being and therefore should be tried for murder. 


Stop the doctors and then you have stopped the problem. 

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 @Nick_Danger "Really? You do not believe there are consequences for the actions you take? Do you not believe you should be held responsible for what you do in life? Rewarded or punished accordingly for the actions you take?"


Who are *you,* exactly, that you should be the one to decide what consequences devolve to whom?


Who are *you,* exactly, that *you* should hold *anyone* responsible for *anything?*


You worry about running your own life, Pumpkin, and leave others to run theirs.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 @stands_for_decibels "What else do we do at the force of gunpoint? Pay taxes and abide by all the other laws of the land. "


Taxes are a civil matter, not criminal.  Even if you evade taxes, you're not going to be compelled AT GUNPOINT to pay them.  That's just a ludicrous overstatement on your part.


Same goes for many other "laws of the land."  You're simply overstating your case in an attempt to make your position sound more dramatic.


td1234
td1234

@Tuna Meowt @td1234 @Nick_Danger I am not attempting to run anyones life just asking questions into the believes "philosophy" of people. The term "you" is generic and can apply to whomever would want to engage in the debate. 

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 @Tuna Meowt @Nick_Danger To correct your misinformed and dangerous notion that "there's no excuse for an unwanted pregnancy" today, you should know that that's exactly what happened to me and my wife in 1998.


Yes, we were using birth control.  Yes, we were using it properly.  So what happened?


My wife's physician -- the same one who prescribed her birth control -- *also* prescribed a strong course of antibiotics for a persistent upper respiratory infection that just would not go away.  Unfortunately for us, the *physician* failed to recognize that the particular type of antibiotic he prescribed would significantly reduce the efficacy of the birth control medication, and my wife ended up pregnant.


Our mistake?  No.  But by your *ignorant* standards, since there's "no excuse," you'd have had us carry that fetus to term, even against our wishes.


td1234
td1234

@Tuna Meowt One is not placed in jail for more than a year for a civil matter. 

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@td1234 @stands_for_decibels "Why? So you can FEEL morally superior? LOLIf a doctor preforms an abortion then he/she is murdering another human being and therefore should be tried for murder."


Sorry.  Abortion is a *legal* medical procedure, despite how you FEEL about it.



"Stop the doctors and then you have stopped the problem."


There's no problem.  You might have a problem, but that's *your* problem.  How someone else CHOOSES to deal with their own pregnancy is not your business or your problem.


gotalife
gotalife

You will see many pundits start writing the truth about our President as his poll numbers climb. Media lies will no longer work for the gop. Also, the gop have to try to govern so the pundits turn on them.

gotalife
gotalife

Having a competent President solved most of our problems. The gop willl no longer create more problems to get their President,

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Pretty good take-down of Shakespeare Truthers from Amanda, here.


http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/12/the-unsavory-motivations-of-the-shakespeare-truthers/


The same political desires that drove Shakespeare trutherism back in the day have not gone away, however. It’s still fueled by an unsavory classism and hostility to bohemianism that manifests in an unwillingness to accept that someone could develop as a great poet without a formal education but merely by practicing through his work as a writer and actor. 


LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Tuna Melt thinks the US economy has been growing faster than Texas'

Tells you all you need to know about her understanding of economic statistics.

td1234
td1234

@InTheMiddle2 And yet we still have a record number of 50 Million people on Food Stamps and the lowest labor participation rate since the 1970's. 


Cooking the books is right Middle. 

gotalife
gotalife

@LilBarryBailout The economy is wide open now chartering new teritory and breaking Dow records. Unemployment will be at 4 % and the Dow at 20k. Jobs will be back for all those who want to work.


The President will poll at 60% in two years ending a outstanding Presidency.

Tuna Meowt
Tuna Meowt

@LilBarryBailout "Tuna Melt thinks the US economy has been growing faster than Texas"


Tuna *knows* it.


"Tells you all you need to know about her understanding of economic statistics."


Yes.  It tells you that I am smarter and better informed than you are.  :D


gotalife
gotalife

Obama Warns GOP He Plans To Use Veto Pen In 2015

Dictating the debate. One of the Koch brothers is donating for prison reform so the gop will probably do that.



DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@CommonSenseisntCommon @gotalife  Speaking of minimum wage jobs.  Care to share the real data on how many of these millions of jobs being created pay above the minimum wage?  Or how many are part-time / full-time?