I feel wisdom and age are inversely proportional, contrary to what most people think. Let me try and explain why..
A baby is helpless, but is clearly focussed on what is absolutely important in life – food, shelter for the body and love and learning for the soul. The baby doesn’t care about how slim it is, the color of his mom’s dress, the cleanliness of the spoon that was used for mixing her “Farex”, the style of the roof over his head, the position of his dad or mum at work, how famous her parents are or even if they are his parents. The baby knows when you are loving and doesn’t care about anything else. Interestingly babies come out unscratched in accidents because they are unaware of the danger and don’t resist the way their bodies fall.
Now watch the way we grow – in school, we learn about comparison and try to be better than the other, now ofcourse, schools need to know what car your dad drives, not what values he has, we learn about not asking the wrong question, TV and other toothpaste and soap adverts will teach you about germs and how you need to save yourself from them, your address and accent will become important and with all the TV shows you get carted to, you will begin to believe in whatever talent you are forced to believe in…. You remain helpless in many ways still – dealing with tough situations, worrying about inches and the eyebrow arch, wanting to commit suicide if you got 94% not 97%, eat a leaf and smoke to fit into a dress and want everything “now”. Love is not the most important thing, learning that doesn’t result in a degree that leads to a job that has societal value is trashed… Wisdom ? Will it pay ?
Then the middle life – am not sure if we have a middle life anymore, 40s become the new 20s and 50s become the new 30s and so on, would be great if the quality of life and quality of thinking stayed young and sought learning, but it’s only about the external “parties”, “clothes”, and useless stuff that can at best be cremated with us. Some won’t even burn up !! Ok, I will define the middle life as the period when you decide you are not young and you are not old – “tirusanku swarg” :):):) – in this state, we are the least wise. We have families, we have worked for a good number of years and are at the peak of our incompetence and a great sounding designation, and even at this stage we lust after more money, for our children purportedly and for our retirement, we lust after positions beyond our incompetence and have no time for families, for whom we say we are working so hard, when we have so much already. If you let wisdom to peep in, you will realise you don’t really need the fourth car, you really don’t need to eat at a 5-star restaurant every Friday, that dress you live can be repeated, the jewellery won’t make you look prettier and what you really want to do is to watch your daughter grow not spend the hours at work trying to climb the ladder to a heart attack.
I don’t know where to put the age when your children are old enough to marry, we are the dumbest at this age, super middle-age maybe ? We want our daughter to marry the best looking, rich guy and our son to marry the prettiest rich “fair” girl who will suddenly love you… Same caste, full marks, same social status, 110/100, educated, ok, values, maybe…. You can fight me by saying you aren’t like this, and you will be the minority. Pick the matrimonial adverts – “fair, slim, beautiful bride wanted. xxxx caste”. God bless the minority. The wonderful girls and boys have bigger demands – brand of cars, number of maids, cook, number of holidays in a year, number of parties in a month etc etc.
Now the old age – this I define as the time when your children are married and have teenaged children and all the creams that promised Shobha De type looks failed to infuse you with her genes 🙂 …. Unfortunately by this time you should really be wise, but here too, you behave like a fool, create a mess by interfering with your daughter-in-law or son-in-law, expecting the grandchildren to listen to us when we haven’t bothered to remain relevant, you want to direct everybody else’s life, when you really should be thinking about contributing to the world.
Actually the slide is really sharp – we forget to love, we forget to put emphasis on the right priority and we die unfulfilled…60, 70 years wasted many times. Remember what you knew as a child – love and learning is all that matters, people remember Gandhiji’s love and his attempts to learn the truth, not what color his dhoti was at a particular meeting.. Clothes, things and more things, money and more money can’t bring happiness and a sign of wisdom is being happy. Love and learn and be wise. Don’t waste the opportunity.