We were the last class of the last millennium to graduate high school. We were 18 with life to go. We were free to wear sunscreen.
A lot has happened since then: to us and, to our dismay, the world-at-large. What has happened to us is a lot of what everyone has experienced. Still, I think it’s interesting to consider how these events have effected us and how we have responded.
Have we grown up? Older isn’t always wiser. Our parents loved to tell us it was that simple. Sometimes theirs was the argument from authority. They weren’t always wrong. I don’t think we ever said that. At least most of us didn’t.
Older is wiser when the older have benefited from their experience. Though that is not always the case. Like they say, some people never learn. If the younger person learns from his mistakes and from what happens to him, he may be wiser. That is, if the older person in question is as stubborn as ever. Their wisdom will only be as good as the platitudes their predecessors saddled them with.
What have we learned and what have we forgotten? Perhaps, in some respects, we were wiser in our youth. If we have lost some great truth that once before we knew, how can we now remember and reclaim it?
I want to know.