“You are too young to know anything about that. Wait until you are older to talk about such things.”
“You only have young children, you have no idea what it is like to have teenagers. Your advice is basically useless.”
“You only have teenagers, you have forgotten what it is like to have young children.”
“You don’t know what it is like to have a healthy marriage since you are divorced.”
“You are not married, what would you know about a marriage relationship?”
“You struggle with depression, how can you talk about being happy.”
“You don’t have a degree, so you don’t know what you are doing.”
We can always find reasons why someone who is talking us does not have value. Could it be that the advice they are giving is wrong?
That can happen.
Sometimes though, many times, we dismiss people because of age, experience or what we see as lack of knowledge.
I will never forget when at 28, I offered to help with a class on cooking on a budget. I was quite reserved and it was fairly difficult to even offer. I had extensive experience for the previous fifteen years minimum of cooking on an extreme budget. It was second nature to me. I had more experience than most people would have in a lifetime, including cooking for 17-50 on a regular basis with little resources.
The woman laughed that I spoke to. “Dear, you are too young to be teaching other women. Wait until you are a bit older.”
It took me aback a bit. I had been told many times in my life that what I had to offer was not of value because of my age, my perceived age, stature, education or the like. “Your children are too young to know how homeschooling might actually go. Wait until you are older.”
Recently though I heard, “Your children are too old to understand and remember what homeschooling young children was like. We need to hear from people who have young children.”
Another thing I heard someone say, “We need to stick to being around and hearing from people that are only of our belief systems, our kind.”
It got me to thinking!
We need a mixture of varied ages, influences and experiences in our circles. We need the people that have older children, younger children, large families, small families, different levels of education, and from all areas and walks of life. We need diversity in our lives.
If we only surround ourselves with people that are in the same place, with the same experiences as we have, we will end up with a very narrow minded point of view.
Instead when a child speaks the truth to you, but it stings a bit, don’t disregard his truth because he is a child. Thank him for it. He may be young, but truth is truth.
If a younger woman can teach you something, like budgeting or cooking, accept it with joy. It is a gift to learn from others.
If an older person shares a truth with you, and you feel like they are not qualified to deliver it, but it is truth, accept it and thank them. Truth is truth, no matter who it is from.
Sometimes those that we least expect truth to come from, are the best teachers.