I know next to nothing compared with what there is to know. I’m ok with the fact that, however much I study and whatever life experiences I have, this will always be the case. I am 33 years old, I’m not writing from a place of great maturity and wisdom, here. What I do know is that I have a lot to learn and there is wisdom enough for me in that. I’d like to think I’m almost grown.
To my mind, an important development in adulthood involves realising that learning is a lifelong enterprise that doesn’t stop. No matter how old you get, you are never going to know everything there is to know about life. Perhaps there is an average age at which one gets to this place of knowing ignorance. If there is, there must be an awful lot of people who are outliers on either side. I think it’s true that some people never quite get to this place. To those people I would say that to declare you know everything is to admit you know nothing.
I have started to properly realise just how much I can learn from others. It doesn’t matter who a person is, how well read, how much they have studied or travelled, it doesn’t even matter how old; a person can always learn something from another.
Since I’ve moved back to my home town, I have had the overwhelming pleasure of getting to know my nieces and nephew, two of whom were born since I moved. They are all still children, though two of them won’t be for much longer. Every time I see each of them I learn something new: about them; about what it’s like to be young today; about unconditional love; about living unselfconsciously and about myself.
I didn’t think I liked children. I was a bit intimidated by their certainty. I forget what it’s like to really know something for sure. The two biggest things they have taught me is that you can learn from anyone of any age and stage if you are prepared to listen and that play and fun are not reserved for children. There is much wisdom in youth. Drink it up. It won’t be long before they’re almost grown, too.