I was sitting in my rocker on the back porch surrounded by college students of various shapes and sizes. Something came up and I gave my “old fashioned” opinion about it. One of the young bucks goaded me about being such an antique. I fired back, “Hey, its hip to be square.” To my delight he started singing a few lines from Huey Lewis’ song by that title.
I love this ITunes generation.
We talked for a while about being hip and being square. I asked him, “Am I squarely hip or hippily square?”
He thought for a minute and said, “You are definitely hippily square.” Translation, “more square than hip.” I’ll settle for that. You see, I think Huey Lewis and the News had it right. It is hip to be square.
That idea cuts against the grain of modern thinking. This culture is obsessed with youth, and the stock and trade of the young is beauty and strength. Don’t misunderstand, I’m a great admirer of those things, but they must be balanced with wisdom. Wisdom is the commodity of age.
You see, sometimes to learn a thing – I mean to really learn a thing – you have to go through it. Yes, I know we can either learn from our mistakes or the mistakes of others and the better way is learning from others. I get that. But there are some things that only time can teach. You have to go through it. Perspective is not possible looking through the lens of another man’s glasses. Experience is the great professor of perspective. And age is the only way to get experience.
This heavily youth laden civilization will never understand that.
I was thinking about this as I read an article on aging. It says that as we grow older our minds begin to shrink and our thought processes slow down. This atrophy starts as early as 30! Yikes.
So the younger crowd can think faster and act quicker than those of us on the backside of fifty. But there’s a catch. The best decisions are based on experience, not logic. Even though our processors are slower, our hard drives are fuller. We have a lifetime of accumulated experiences and insights that make for better decision-making.
Wisdom comes in the shape of a square.
Proverbs 16:31 says, “Gray hair is a crown of glory.” Here’s the Bill Dye translation, “It’s hip to be square.”