Some people say the correlation between age and wisdom is very high.
While that would be beneficial to most to say so, and would be a relief for me if I believed so, we’ve sadly observed the contrary.
The experience argument:
The # of total experiences does not correlate with one’s age, although often times, you can correctly say that you see it trending that way. Taken out of this context, rarely would a person of logic say a whole trend is an accurate representation of its parts.
Experience, and one’s involvement with events, knowledge, and information are not limited to first-hand contact only.
Experience can be attained through second-hand accounts: from books (nonfiction, fiction), from media (news, social networks, entertainment videos, visual media), from people (geography, age, socio-economic class, personal disposition, race, ethnicity).
Age represents the culmination of personal experiences gathered from the number of years one has lived.
One’s age does not predicate the level of maturity attained via the culmination of experience.
Whether these experiences are then consumed consciously and whether the deliberate consumption or “present” consumption of experience ultimately channels into good insights reflective of good character [which is ultimately what wise people seem to to embody], is altogether a whole unique statement to be examined on its own.
You might find a wise 50 year old and still manage to find a 79 year old who simply hasn’t gotten his shit together.
Alternatively, you might find a wise 30 year old to the 59 year old.
A wise 27 year old man to your 56.
These things aren’t doled out to each person by measures as soon as one hits on another year.
You have to have the right character, strive for the right character. (I’d let people argue that one needs to experience some maturity in brain development to experience “wisdom,” but we are talking about the general pool of people who’ve hit adulthood – aka full maturity in the brain and its critical parts.
Age does not beget insight. Age does not beget wisdom.
In the case for wisdom, one can safely argue that being considered wise is conditional to embodying other characteristics that are by nature virtuous or noble.
You see many who are older than you and are markedly hypocritical, but they are not wise.
You see many who are older than you are and who decline to fight on behalf of fellow brethren, and you would not call them wise.
You see old villains and old money and fame mongers, and you would never attribute “wise” to their personages.
You can call an old man all these things: clever, astute, sharp, wise, but you can never just assume or generalize that the old man is wise simply because he is of that age, just like you can not assume one has become measurably smarter because he has reached the age of 80, but sadly, the bulk of our society continues to reinforce this poorly defended theory into their lifestyles, in daily human interaction and decision making
For example, you might see a person:
Who is CEO of a Fortune 500 company at 40 and is incredibly sageous.
Who is a successful CEO at 65 and incredibly selfish, hypocritical, and prone to deal in unethical business ventures.
No amount of age will make up for a person’s lack of character development if said person has only used one’s experiences in life to serve and reflect off of his/her agenda.
Age and wisdom is mutually exclusive.
I’m starting to realize as I write this that maybe the you I’m writing to is just me, and that I am perhaps mixing the word wisdom with other virtues and characteristics of nobler substance [such as selflessness, people vision, compassionate worldliness].
But I believe these terms must be considered interchangeably. I don’t think this allows for mutual exclusivity.
Maybe I’m just being crazily [or naively] self-righteous. Who knows.