To my millennial friends who are prone to think the older generation just doesn’t get it and to my generation and older who think we know it all and they just don’t get it, let’s pause and give some consideration to the wisdom of King Ahab of old.
It is not that the Boomer and X generations don’t get it or think they know better just because they are older. It is not that the older generations aren’t excited about and don’t want to raise up the next generation of leaders. To the older generation it appears the next generation is unwilling to be apprenticed, mentored or pay their dues and often fail to respect and at least honor what those that have gone before them have sacrificed and accomplished in order for the next generation to take the ball and run with it.
Unfortunately, the older generation gets set in its ways, overlooks its youthful foolishness or outright failures and is unwilling to take the time to unlearn bad advice or change when new ways are better. All too often, the old dog really isn’t willing to learn new tricks. Being a life long learner could very well be the secret to finding the fountain of youth! There might be a reason that fountain has never been found!
Too often, millennials simply assume they know better when in fact they are unconsciously incompetent. They may possess knowledge but they lack the experience to take full advantage of what they may or may not know.
On the other hand, the older generation tends to believe it solved the puzzle long ago but fails to realize they are missing a few critical puzzle pieces as the table has shifted!
Wisdom is needed in order to fully understand and act on the knowledge we have gained. A wise person puts knowledge and understanding to work for good. This applies to ALL generations!
“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:3
The key is to fully understand, in season, as we are firmly planted. You can’t rush wisdom. Otherwise the sapling becomes arrogant, puffed up and proud. And unlike an old oak tree, it is unable to sustain the winds of life that are certain to come unless it is properly pruned from time to time. There are times we need to learn the lesson and then we need to be willing to adapt and unlearn lessons that are no longer relevant.
We need only look to the King Ahab for valuable insight on this issue. It is not a new issue and not one unique to the next generation. It is an age old issue. A generational issue, indeed. “The king of Israel sent back this answer: A warrior putting on his sword for battle should not boast like a warrior who has already won.” 1 Kings 20:11
There is a lot to be learned and some amazing relationships to be built when the old warrior and the young warrior take the time to share war stories as iron sharpens iron. Not to judge, but rather to join forces and focus on the battle to be won. There within is the inspiration to fight new battles together as both generations strive to make the world a better place as they draw from real life experiences and new insights that shape the strategy for victory. The willingness to listen and the willingness to learn can truly work together for the win!