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