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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wasting Natural Resources

Anglo-Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw wri...Image via Wikipedia

Youth is wasted on the young. — George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw's bon mot might have focused on his wistful recollection of opportunities squandered on superficial objectives, especially in the physical prime of life. But it is my opinion that there is much more waste of opportunity through failure to recognize one of its prime resources: the living repository of lessons learned in the school of hard knocks — our senior citizenry.

I think that in large measure such negligent avoidance of senior guidance is a gross waste of one of our enduring resources. The culture that disparages words of empirical wisdom as "old wives tales" or the mutterings of geezers is doomed to repeat the inanities of youthful foolishness and the excesses of mid-life crises. Sadly, such cultural shortsightedness appears to be universal.

I think the blame for such waste is widespread as well. Young people have a natural tendency to rebel against the "old ways", and they give much more credence to the unschooled opinions of their contemporaries than their contemporaries' general lack of experience deserves. Their parents are too busy scrambling for solutions to problems self-imposed in the processes of their own rebellions. And the grandparents, who have knowledge of at least some general purpose solutions to certain recurring problems, are often tired of trying to convince the younger generations that they have something of value to share.

And so the human comedy keeps on keeping on, down through the generations, as each new generation re-invents the wheel of self-inflicted adversity. To err is human. To keep on making the same age-related mistakes? Well, that seems to be the human condition, too.

Now hear this, young people: Barack Obama — very bad medicine. Trust me. I'm a muttering geezer.

Post 1,726 Wasting Natural Resources

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