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The wisdom of old age

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Ugoma By Ugoma Johnson

One of the biggest mistakes that young people, especially teenagers make sometimes is to see their parents as ‘old school’ to the point that they begin to think that they do not have anything to offer in this 21st century

As much as I agree that most parents do not understand the dynamism of parenting the millennials, however, it will be foolish of me, or anyone for that matter to live in the delusion that the older generation is completely useless in the overall scheme of things as it relates to parenting the 21st-century child.

The older generation might not fully understand how things work today due to the advancement in technology and how fast the world has metamorphosed into a global village, but there is a kind of wisdom that can only come from old age and that is the advantage that the old schools bring to the table.

But aunty Ugo, old age is not proof of wisdom na, you are correct but are you also aware that old age is also not a proof of foolishness, nor is it proof of oblivion?


There is an African adage that goes thus “what an elder will see sitting down, an infant cannot see even if he climbs an iroko tree.” This adage holds true for eternity. There are certain levels of wisdom that only age can teach, and the only way you can learn such wisdom at an early age is by listening to those who have gone ahead of you.

So, you see that when you refuse to listen to whatever your parents or the old-school people have to say, you are only doing yourself a disservice, and waiting to learn those things by experience will require a longer time and probably more painful experience.

Dear millennial…

Indeed, some things are better learned by experience, however, waiting to learn everything by experience will cost you more time and energy. Don’t look down on your parents or the older generation because you think they are old school and as such do not know what is obtainable at this age. You don’t need to take all their words hook, line, and sinker, however, you can always learn something from them. Just filter which will be more helpful to you.

They might be old school, but I tell you this, there is a certain wisdom that comes with age that you can glean from if you are willing to learn with humility.


  • Ugoma Johnson is a journalist, published author of 3 books, a social worker, and founder, Teens Empowerment And Rehabilitation Centre (TercHub), a foundation that is saddled with the mandate to curb teenage pregnancy, illiteracy and period poverty, through transformational teachings, provision of school materials and sanitary pads for teenagers in ruler communities.


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