Passing on wisdom learned the hard way to the young

There are advantages and disadvantages of getting old but that is not today’s topic. Rather it is about passing on wisdom, often learned the hard way, to the young, individually or in a setting where I have been asked to give a speech. Whether or not I am listened to, it is the young who will take over where I have left off.


My thinking is: having survived infancy, childhood, youth, young adulthood, middle age and now as an OAP with very old age and death to look forward to, I reckon there are a few gems I could and should pass on, although if the young are anything like I was at their age it is quite possible I will be ignored, even though if they do listen they will save themselves a great deal of time avoiding fruitless activity etc. But even so, leaving a legacy, passing the baton, and doing whatever good I can, seems to me the way to go. Having given the matter a lot of thought, this is what I would like to say if given the chance, mindful every young person is different.


  1. Life passes by very quickly, more than you realize now. Carpe Diem (seize the day) for it could be your last.
  2. Value your family and friends because there will come a time you will need them and they will need you.
  3. Forgive others – how much heartache etc. can be avoided if we do this. Life is too short to bear grudges.
  4. Get the best education you can in the widest possible sense, and I don’t mean merely passing exams.
  5. Try to cultivate a career, and use it as a means to do good.
  6. Things are often NOT what they seem. Neither be cynical nor gullible, but instead learn to question.
  7. The world really is a mix of good, bad and mad people, and it is sometimes hard to work out which is which, and we are all combinations of these.
  8. Everyone has a perspective and a way of viewing the world. Often it is valid. It is often well to understand what this is.
  9. Be kind. The older I get the more I realize this is probably more important than most other things we can be.
  10. You will be hurt, reviled, misrepresented etc. but rather than let this crush you, see it as a way to build character etc.
  11. Earn all you can, save all you can and give all you can is a useful maxim when it comes to money.
  12. Strive for excellence and be the best you can be in whatever you set your heart on doing / being.
  13. The whole of life is a learning curve; continue to learn and gain wisdom. But at the end you will find you will still know very little.
  14. Triumphs and disasters and everything in-between will be our regular lot. Take stock, don’t dwell on successes and failures, but rather build on and learn from them, and try to move on.
  15. Count your blessings and be thankful.
  16. Don’t forget God and eternity – the words of the text given here is a useful place to begin.



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