Aging, Wisdom, Experience – 3

I wanted this post to be about wisdom, the getting of it and the application of it but in the past few weeks, there have been things/stuff that has gotten in the way.

Wisdom comes with age, so they say, though we do know plenty of self-absorbed people for whom wisdom is a concept they have chosen to ignore because it doesn’t apply to them.

Wisdom comes from experience, which comes from aging and watching the world go around you and from out of that we acquire an understanding of our environment.

It’s one thing to have it, it’s another to know what to do with it.

In the past few weeks, my best friend has discovered that her son has cancer. He has a disability and didn’t tell her until his discomfort became so intense he had to say something.

It started with him having a sore eye. Within a week his problem had escalated to surgery to remove his eye and the discovery of cancer behind the eye. It is a nervous wait to find out if the cancer has spread or has been contained.

In this circumstance, the response has been highly emotional. My friend is facing the prospect of her son dying and that is something no parent ever wants.

The other thing to have happened is my children’s grandmother dying. She was a lovely lady, happy in her own place and very unhappy when placed in a nursing home.

Her death brought together my six children.

It has been a wonderful few days as it is rare for my kids to be in the same place.

They are all approaching middle age, (they’d be horrified to know I’ve said that). They are adults with whom I have beautiful adult relationships.

I am very proud of my children’s achievements and doubly proud when I saw them in action at their grandmother’s funeral.

So I asked myself what has wisdom got to do with any of this?

The answer is in how I responded to their comments on life, their mother, the funeral and most importantly their grandmother. For me it was about hearing what they said, understanding where it was coming from and accepting that we don’t always agree, but rather accept that for each of my children see the world from their own perspective.

Wisdom this past week has been about listening, setting aside any agenda I might have and allowing my children to vent and tell the stories most dear to them.

At the same time, my friend in dealing with her son’s illness was about my being there for her, allowing her to vent her frustrations and understanding that in me she felt she could do just that. I was allowing her the right to express her deepest fears.

It was not about me, it was about her for the most part I found it difficult to know what to say. I wrote her a note, as words work better for me that way, in which I said the best thing she could do for her son was to be his mum. Love and care for him the way she always had.

My acquired wisdom gathered over the past sixty years + came to the fore, helped me out in the above situations. Do you think you have become wiser as you’ve aged

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11 Responses to Aging, Wisdom, Experience – 3

  1. Sadje says:

    Michael, I’m sorry for your loss and also for the extremely difficult time your friend is going through. Her situation is more intolerable because as you said parents don’t think of their children dying before them.
    Time is a merciless teacher. It’s lessons are taught mostly against our will. But we need to learn these very important truths. I feel that I’ve learned a lot of things with time and circumstances. Keeping quiet is one of the most important lesson I’ve learned.

  2. As I’ve got older, I’ve become more tolerant and accepting. As to whether that’s wisdom I don’t know. I do know I feel better about it and know there are things I cannot change.

  3. Patricia says:

    Yes, you are wise. You know when to speak and when to just listen. I have grown wiser with the years and the experience of them. Still, a ways to go, though.

  4. Lauren says:

    Michael, one hopes that age brings wisdom. For me, age has brought me the wisdom to know that I can only control my own actions. I have finally learned to set boundaries with others to protect myself. Why it took me so long to gain this wisdom, I do not know. But I am grateful for having it now. I can accept that others have different views and different opinions, but I don’t have to accept them shoving their demands on me.

Please feel free to comment, I appreciate your thoughts.

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