Just because someone is older does not mean they are wiser.
Wisdom is generally assumed to be closely correlated with age, i.e., “the older you are, the wiser you are.” However, to more accurately reflect reality, wisdom should instead be understood as loosely correlated with age.
Here are two reasons why:
1) Age is correlated with experience, but experience is accumulated in different areas of life by different people at extremely different RATES of accumulation.
Some people accumulate experience much more quickly relative to others. How to accumulate experience quickly and the factors involved in that is a good topic but one for another article.
2) Experience alone does not equal wisdom. It takes experience + understanding to produce wisdom plus at least a little something more.
Understanding is a combination of 1) intelligence – which I define as the ability to comprehend, assimilate and creatively combine information as well as 2) perspective – the capacity to recognize relationships between wholes and parts.
To add one more dimension, wisdom is greater than the sum of experience + understanding. It also has (at least) the qualities of patience, humility, gratitude, presence and probably humor.
If wisdom were a gourmet meal served at a fine restaurant, the appetizer would probably be humility, the main courses would consist of experience and understanding, and the dessert would be gratitude. Patience would be the beverage of choice, topped off frequently throughout. Also, just a heads up, the courses are likely to arrive in a completely unpredictable order, e.g., the first course might come before the appetizer and you might not get the second course until after dessert, so remember that if you take the restaurant too seriously and pitch a fit, they might kick you out early.
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