As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that I’m increasingly coming back around to old cliches and sayings — stuff grandparents and parents and parents of friends’ would tell me back when I was 15 and I never believed a word of it. Some of it is profound, life-changing stuff that I ignored all those years ago.
Then it dawned on me: maybe I’ve already gotten all the great advice I would ever need in a lifetime.
People from all walks of life and every age have at one time or another given me their life lessons that gave them some understanding of how the universe works. It’s likely how one generation passes knowledge onto the next generation. The problem is I wasn’t mature enough or smart enough at the time to recognize it or understand it. I’m hearing myself say things my grandfater would say, and it gives me pause. It’s not the standard worry that I’m turning into my parents, but more a worry that I’ve let all of life’s truths slip through my hands when I was younger and I’m just now starting to catch them and pass them on. I hope my hunch is correct — maybe life isn’t a journey to uncover new truths in far off places, but instead to simply gain enough to experience to understand what is all around you, all the time.
Of course, I’ve got to remind myself of this when I start handing out sage advice to toddlers. They’ll be ignoring me until well after 2035.