I have lived long enough now to be aware technology is changing rapidly while the wisdom needed to do the right thing with any technology is timeless. Within every generation there are people who could provide beneficial advice to every generation that comes after them. But almost always everyone in every generation has a tendency to think they have a superior approach to whatever they are currently dealing with in their lives.
There are jewels of wisdom residing in the minds of the older generations that could provide great benefits for the current generation. I remember talking to my grandmother Hall regarding the pitfalls in the pursuit of a relationship between a man and a woman.
Why were the men so inclined to make advances toward women and with women so reluctant welcome those advances? Her response was, “Well Raymond, a man was born to ask, and a woman was born to refuse, and when the woman doesn’t refuse, that’s when your trouble starts.”
I realize the reluctance on the part of women has diminished since I was a young man, and the aggressiveness on the part of the men has in many cases increased, but welcoming the advances prior to a preparatory period of time can still result in a lot of trouble for many young people.
When I wrote my first book, “Channahatchee Moon,” I tried to honor the wisdom of my grandmother with a couple of pages on her wisdom. What I wouldn’t give to be able to sit down with her again and listen to her commentary. It always amazed me she had come into this area of Alabama on a covered wagon in the late 1800s and watched the first moon landing.
The same would go for my mother. She grew up in the 1920s and ’30s and raised me and my brothers in the ’40s and ’50s. She was an encourager on the order of the Bible’s Barnabus, standing beside me when I received the Eagle Scout award on the stage of the Tallassee High School auditorium. When Alzheimer’s began to take her slowly from her family in such an agonizing manner, I realized how many opportunities to sit down and talk with her I had neglected.
So I advise every generation to take every opportunity to glean the wisdom from the previous generations as often as you have the opportunity. Proverbs 4:7 states, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
The old folks are quite often a treasure of wisdom so seek every opportunity to mine it.
You will be a beneficiary as you acquire it and create a friend whom you can show the wonders of today’s technology.
Ray Hall is a guest columnist for The Tribune from the Red Hill area.