Wisdom of the aged rarely appreciated

Ruth Griffiths

“Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old,” says Job 12:12 but most younger folks would prefer to acquire their wisdom themselves rather than listen to the stories of their elders.

My children rarely appreciated the pearls of wisdom I offered them. I wanted to spare them the pain of making mistakes and thought my accumulated life experiences might be helpful. They weren’t interested.
Throughout history youths have rejected the reasoned suggestions of there elders in favour of the freedom to learn on their own. Some manage to graduate from the School of Hard Knocks relatively unscathed.
Now in retirement, I have more time to sort through my thoughts and determine which might have some value. I present for you today a selection of truths that have served me well. (Try not to yawn or laugh too loudly.)

  1. There is rarely a better time to do something than right now.
    The first time I notice something out of place, like a bath towel that has fallen on the floor, I might tell myself, “I should pick that up.” The next time I see it STILL on the floor, I start to “should” myself about picking it up. However, if it continues to be on the floor much longer than that, it becomes part of the scenery and I may not notice it anymore. Then one day, maybe several days later, I decide to pick it up and discover that it has become mildewed because it was damp while it was on the floor.
    The point I am making is don’t wait until you get around to it, just do it now. Unless you are already late for something or the house is on fire, you can likely at least make a start on something.
    Each of us has the same number of hours in the day, but busy people tend to get more done. When I was working full time I got a lot of housework done before I left for work in the morning which was good because I didn’t have to come home to a messy house. However, on a non-work day, I might putter around and still not have the breakfast dishes done by lunch time. Even though I had more time, I got less done.
  2. Anything worth doing is worth doing right.
    Don’t just pretend to do it, get it done right the first time. Learn the best and most efficient way to do things. Wear the proper safety equipment. Hire a professional unless you are sure you can do the job yourself. It may take a little longer and cost a little more, but getting the job done right will usually prevent you from having to fix the problem again.
  3. The temporary fix is rarely temporary.
    During the lockdown in 2020, I took a walk in the park every day for exercise and mental health. However, my walking shoes had worn out. For the first time ever, I ordered shoes on line. They were delivered to my door and they fit. Wonderful! Eager to try them out, I cut through the tags holding the shoes together and sliced through a shoe lace. No problem, I used my best Girl Guides knot and fixed it. A temporary fix for sure. However, the knot is still there and the shoes have worn out. Every time I tie those shoes I scold myself for not buying a new shoe lace.
    I’ll bet you have lots of “temporary” fixes around your home. Something you mended with duct tape 10 years ago and never go around to fixing properly.
    I feel better for having shared these obvious “jewels” of wisdom. I hope I made your day a little lighter.