Young is a relative term,
the older you get 
the more you realize that.
I am no longer young by any measure—
unless you're nearing 100,
and if that's the case, 
I say God bless.

Let's say for the moment 
that young is anyone under 40;
that should ease the minds 
of thirty-somethings a bit
and make teenagers feel
validated as adults.

Not that it really matters,
because none of them
will truly listen,
and take my words to heart.
Some will blatantly roll their eyes,
others, more circumspect,
will nod and smile and let
my words go in one ear 
and out the other.

They think they know better. 
They think I'm old. I'm old-fashioned.
The world is different now
and times change.

And they are right,
as far as that goes. 
I don't deny that I am old 
and old-fashioned 
in a lot of ways.
They'll get no argument
from me that the world has changed—
I've seen it firsthand,
Progress of unimaginable delight,
along with changes that break my heart.

But what they cannot grasp
is that experience is the best teacher
and that experience need not be our own.
Youth believes it knows everything,
but doesn't believe that age
remembers being young
with the dreams of changing the world.

The times they are a-changing'--
as they always have been
and always will be. 
I remember what it felt like
to think I was smarter than my elders,
and I acknowledge they were often
wiser than I gave them credit for.
There are times when I wish
I could go back and take the advice
I was too smart to follow,
just as I wish I could reach
the young people who
think they are too smart to listen.

I am old enough to know
that those types of wishes
never come true,
and young enough
to wish for them anyway.

~Elise Skidmore ©2021

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2 Comments

    1. Oh, I’m so glad. It’s something I’ve been struggling with myself lately. Been biting my tongue because I don’t want to argue or deal with eye rolls. Feel free to share with those folks you’re working with if you like.