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Proverb 1: 8-9

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction, and do not ignore your mother’s teaching; For they are a graceful wreath for your head and necklaces for your neck.

Is this the advice every parent wants their teenager to hear? It is advice our society could use because we tend to forsake the wisdom of people older than ourselves, regardless of the age segment. Teenagers think thirty somethings are old and out of touch. Thirty somethings think their parents don’t have wisdom to give. We let the youngest, most naïve, least educated and least experienced segment of our population determine how society should function. That’s nuts! So, maybe we aren’t as wise as we think.

Reality check – this is bedrock. We should learn to lean on those who went before us, but we aren’t built to look for advice from others. Somehow, we grew up not respecting the wisdom of our elders and now we have passed that attitude on to the next generation. I doubt very much we are going to change this behavior socially, but we can affect how we interact with those older, and younger, than ourselves.
Two other ways to think about this admonition from Solomon is to draw on wisdom from old adages and to read books. There is so much knowledge and wisdom stored up on books that we could learn much. Wise people do not rely on their own experiences alone to gain wisdom. They walk in the footprints of those who have gone before. Why should we go through the same learning curve as the previous generation? In this age of electronics, the simple exercise of reading a book has become less common place. Even reading fiction improves one’s grammar, vocabulary and spelling.

One other note, some people have lots of wisdom but will not share it until they know you are a willing recipient. You may have to pull on them a bit. They want to share but do not want to offend. The wise teacher awaits a willing pupil. Man, that is a hard lesson to learn too.

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