Building by youth may be destructive, while when elders dismantle, it is
constructive (Nedarim 40a).
It seems paradoxical, but it is true. We make the most important decisions
of our lives when we are young and inexperienced, and our maximum wisdom
at an age when our lives are essentially behind us, and no decisions of
great moment remain to be made.
While the solution to this mystery eludes us, the facts are evident, and we
would be wise to adapt to them. When we are young and inexperienced, we can
ask our elders for their opinion and then benefit from their wisdom. When
their advice does not coincide with what we think is best, we would do
a great service if we deferred to their counsel.
It may not be popular to champion this concept. Although we have emerged
from the era of the `60s, when accepting the opinion of anyone over thirty
anathema, the attitude of dismissing older people as antiquated and obsolete
has-beens who lack the omniscience of computerized intelligence still
Those who refuse to learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat
them. We would do well to swallow our youthful pride and benefit from the
of the school of experience.
Today I shall …
…. seek advice from my elders and give more serious consideration to
deferring to their advice when it conflicts with my desires.