I was young once. And indeed we did know everything. Or so we believed, at least better than our betters (as in parents, teachers and others.) “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Do you remember that one?
Such foolishness, imagining our parents to be so clueless. They knew exactly what was going on.
How strange. We thought we knew so much!
Or as one Nobel Prize for Lit winner opined, “Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”
Alas, to be like a child again, everything new, pure, uncomplicated… Is this really true? Have we elevated the Innocence of Youth to such a height that there is no room left for the Wisdom that comes from Failure?
Here’s a poem by my grandmother, Elizabeth Sandy, which dovetails with the theme above.
If you, in your way of life
Have ever been a stranger
To the dread scarred face,
And frightening ways of danger,
Then the safety you possess
Is hard to realize.
Until some danger threatens you
You blindly close your eyes.
If failure never came to you
Success can have no savor.
Your love must know some hate
Or it can have no flavor!
If sorrow never choked our throats
Or teardrops dimmed our eye
The dizzying heights of happiness
Are lost and gone awry!
He who reads diligently
And after truth has sought
And has truly never doubted
Has as truly never thought!
So use your doubts and sorrows
Like a springboard from the sky,
The lower down they take you
The higher up you fly!