I think it’s fitting that these days, some of the most prominent faces we see in the media are faces that aren’t much older than mine. People used to say that we’re a culture that worships youth. Well, we’re now a culture where it seems like it takes youth to succeed. And I think this is all a lot more “in your face” here in Silicon Valley, where if you’re not a millionaire by the time you’re 30, you’re a failure (okay, that’s changed a bit over the last coupla years).
So most of my friends and I are in places that, probably in previous generations, were the privileged space of older folks. Not old, just older. VPs, Project Mgrs, Dept. Heads, Sr. Pastors, etc. And I think it’s great that we have these opportunities, while still in our youth, to make impacts that previous generations weren’t able to.
At the same time, I think there are times when I feel like youth can serve as much a liability as it is an asset. Over the last few years, I think I’ve come to realize that there are just some experiences that I just don’t have, stuff that I can’t just muster up through the masterful powers of my young mind and energy. I’ve come to realize that as someone who’s young(er), I’ve failed to have sufficient experience with, well, failure, for example.
One of the very prominent patterns in the Old Testament is when men show more charisma than they have wisdom. This basically sums up much of the book of Judges. But you also see it in King Solomon in his younger years. And all of them ended in shambles. What a terrible way to go.
So on this Friday, here’s three cheers to humility, wisdom and patience. Three things that I wish I had.