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May 14, 2009

Wisdom Gained, Wisdom Lost…

Filed under: Culture And Society — Vasilios Theodorakis @ 6:00 pm

Every generation’s accumulated wisdom has been lost in Western cultures since the 1950s. Why? Because, our over emphasis of youth culture has built into it, the notion of “re-inventing the wheel” or should we say, “re-discovering the wheel” every time there’s a coming of age. This ensures that culture regresses to an infantile and stunted state on a regular basis. By the time one generation has grasped what’s really important in life, the next generation is making all the same mistakes, and refusing to acknowledge that those older than themselves, already know what counts. There’s no passing on of insight from one generation to the next and no learning from past mistakes as we find in other cultures.

A society that doesn’t listen to the wisdom of age and instead looks to its youth for guidance is not sustainable. Its operational basis is that of experiential waste – just look at what happens when it’s taken to extremes like the killing fields in Cambodia. Unfortunately, we are at risk of never becoming a mature society, and if we continue to also taunt nature with our jibes that the planet is our offspring’s to do with as they please – our eradication by the Earth is all but guaranteed. The planet will eventually scratch us off its surface, like a dog scratches off fleas – indiscriminately.

It’s a shame that this is what we’ve become, because this wasn’t always the case in Western countries like Australia. There was a time when we did advance our culture, adding to our civility as gentlemen and ladies, and passing that onto our children – but that was prior to the baby boomers taking over the world, and setting up the current youth orientated standard for all subsequent generations to follow. One can only hope that we’ll eventually produce a generation that challenges the current status quo and begins respecting the insight of its elderly.

Cheers – Vasilios Theodorakis – May 2009

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