“Youth is beautiful!” the saying goes. And some of it is. The physical form and shape of youth is a pleasure to behold. The exuberance and energy are wonderful. But inside, the feelings can be tormented, twisted, painful.
Everything is complicated when we are young – at least, when I was young. Everything was ambiguous, embroiled in questions, the clouds of divergent philosophies. I drove myself nuts and allowed things that should never have been allowed.
Aging is not my idea of fun, but I love that it has brought a lot of clarity and simplicity into my life. And it turned a lot of my vision upside down. For example:
Brilliance, intellect, and expertise are admirable, but they are nowhere as valuable as kindness, wisdom, and generous service to others.
It doesn’t matter what the reasons that drive someone to be hurtful or mean, I don’t have to let them cross my boundaries or expose myself to it.
Our faith is not defined by rules; it’s defined by our personal relationship to God and the people around us, and by how we relate to this world.
Some of us are fortunate to have learned the important lessons early in life. They don’t have to agonize about finding “meaning” and ultimate truth. They are kind and compassionate and giving and they surround themselves with people who can love.
For our grandchildren that is my prayer: Learn everything the world can teach, exercise the brilliance you were gifted with, but don’t let intellect overshadow wisdom.