From Where Do We Receive Wisdom?

I’m a CSI buff, I admit it.  And, there’s no question that ‘hotness’ is part of the CSI:Miami program – it’s set in a hot climate, and there are invariably bikini-clad [youthful] bodies in each episode…!

As I was watching an episode this week, I was conscious of how virtually all the characters, except Horatio, would likely be under 40 years old.  …some of them even in their late-20s or early-30s.  That’s cool by me, and I can relate to characters in that age-bracket.  What confuses me is the level of wisdom each of the characters claims to have, and then the amount of certainty they can claim when they’re setting forth a theory about a crime they’re investigating.  I suppose it’s possible that, at their age and supposed experience-level, they could know what they claim to know.  My suspicion, however, is that it’s meant to present the characters as in control and heroic, as well as youthful and gorgeous!

I bring this up because of ideals that are held in high esteem in our culture.  Certainly, youth is to be enjoyed, reveled in, and an active time of life.  But we tend to dismiss the wisdom of those older than us as ‘out-dated’ or unworthy of our time.

In conversations I’ve had with those of influence on the local university campus, I’ve often heard the line, “it has to come from the students.”  That is, if there is to be a new program on campus, or if there is to be an initiative, it needs to be started by the students because campus is a place for students.  I agree that it’s a place for students; I disagree that the students are the only ones who have ideas that are worth trying.

In conversations I’ve had with parents of young children, I’ve heard the argument made for not baptizing a child, “I won’t baptize them or take them to church because I want them to decide for themselves when they get older.”  A response I’ve heard, and agree with, is that we don’t wait for young people to decide what is good for them in terms of food, education, manners, values, etc, why in the realm of faith?  What kind of basis do we give our young people when we say “choose for yourself”?

What I’m getting at is that our culture has pointed itself in the direction of the future in ways that dismiss the past.  I think that we have much to gain in looking to where we’re going while being rooted in the wisdom of the past.  And we can benefit from the wisdom of those around us.  (That is, in many ways, what I’ve meant when I’ve made the argument for people to consider going to church that there is inter-generational mingling that doesn’t happen in other realms of life.)

I’ll still watch TV shows that hold up this value of eternal-youth – it’s fun, escapist viewing at the end of the day!  But I’m glad for the mentors in my life who can help me have perspective on life that I can not achieve on my own.

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Posted on April 7, 2010, in Tyler's occasional web log. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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