School Does Not Make You Smart
My brother is twelve years younger than me; that is one hell of an age gap.
When he was entering secondary school, I was in university. When he was a young teenager, I was an adult, already out of the house.
He has seen the dramatic ups and downs of my life, from a front row seat and it has not always been pretty.
He is also the youngest of five; four older sisters and then him, if anyone has stories to fill up the pages of an entertaining book, it is that guy.
What I have learned from my brother is the strength in silence.
He is not the biggest talker, especially if he does not know you very well and his silence has made him a very keen judge of character; while I am busy chattering away, to anyone who will listen, he is quietly and conscientiously observing. My brother’s approval means a lot to me because I feel his ability to read someone is much better than my own; he has a keen ability to assess whether the person I am talking to is here to support me or drown me.
My brother is still finding his way in life, he is young and figuring out what his contribution to society will be and is wise enough to not rush the process.
Unlike me, he is not jumping through the fiery hoops of societal expectation, like a well trained animal. He is observant and is taking his time; I admire this most about him.
It is easy for outsiders to compare our lives and calculate who is more ‘successful,’ which is quite silly.
I have a full twelve years on the guy, of course I am going to have accomplished more than him (I have also failed at a hell of a lot more than him in said time), but one thing that I will never beat him on is wisdom.
My brother is wise person.
He understands people and the way they work, in a manner which I hope to one day understand. His confidence in who he is and who he stands by is unshakeable. He is a true friend and supporter to those he believes in and does not exert an iota of his energy to those he deems unworthy of it.
He never wastes his time with bullshit people and this allows him the ability to be there for those he truly cares for.
I, on the other hand, have spent so much time on the half important people in my life, that I have squandered time, which I could have better utilized on better people.
Am I embarrassed to say that I learn from my much younger brother all the time? Nope. Am I hesitant to say that he is one of the first people I reach out to when I am struggling? Nope.
I am not an ageist, that’s why.
I am also not an educated snob, thinking that I know better, just because I was able to do the academic dances required to get pieces of well sought after paper.
His wisdom may very well come from the fact that he was able to observe and assess his siblings before him mess up.
He was able to see our stumbles and slip ups and decide that caution and time were better options than proceeding through life blindly.
Listen to people younger than you and do not listen as though you are providing them with a service. If you do, you are only hurting yourself and your ability to learn and grow. Age does not mean much, in the scheme of life, old people have just made that up to make themselves feel special.
You could live to one hundred and have the wisdom of a rodent or you could be a teenager and be able to view the world with the intelligence of an old age monk.
Listen to everyone, old and young, without expectation or assumption and perhaps you and I can grow that much wiser, today and each day forward.