Wisdom and Age

Wisdom and Age

Updated: Aug 25, 2019

The association of wisdom with age is often a product of stereotypes we have towards people in different periods in their lives, with each period being a specific social category.

But in reality there is no necessary correlation between age and one’s level of wisdom. It is just that it is commonly believed that the elderly are wiser than the young, the young are more energetic and so forth.

​These stereotypes are a product of what we generally see in people of different ages. They are thus a product of generalizing what is commonly seen among different groups of ages.

It’s like claiming that those who wear glasses are usually intellectuals, while in reality there’s no necessary correlation between one’s level of intelligence and whether or not they wear glasses. That is because people wear glasses to help them see, not because they have above-average intelligence.

And so forth, people become older not because they have grown wise but due to the inevitability of time. Whether or not they have grown wise along the years is entirely dependent on what they have chosen to do and to learn from their experiences over time.

And indeed, experience alone is insufficient for one to become wiser; it’s rather what we choose to do about these experiences, and whether or not we have gained insights from them. One can experience a lot and not learn a lot from it, and the other may experience little than the first, but extract a lot of insightful content from the little they have experienced.


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© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher