The wise learn from the young

Think about what comes to your mind when you hear the word "wise". Is it an old man? Same here. But we don't often consider why that is. This, despite the fact that the so-called wisdom of old men has brought our world to the brink of collapse - economically, environmentally, morally.

The ideal of a wise old man is hopelessly outdated, and perhaps always has been outdated. It has been maintained partly through the power of patriarchy, and partly by control of media that propagates the idea of the wise old man, again through the power of patriarchy.

And this stereotype exists across the world. In India, it is a wise old Brahmin. In America, it is an old White man. In China, the image of the old Kung-Fu master is almost a trope. Different flavours, same ice cream everywhere.

These old men, in their great wisdom, have not only pushed us towards collapse, but also justified this collapse as essential or at least inescapable. Take climate change for example. The doddering old fool who is going to drop dead in the next few years is making policies (or rather not making them) that will decide what happens to the lives of those who are going to have to live through the next century.

Where is the wisdom then? It is coming to us from the mouths of those who get called "woke" and dismissed. It is the conscientious young. The ones who understand what actually needs to be done. The ones who speak unpleasant truths and seek change. The ones who have some idea of what the future is going to be and the ones who realise they are going to have to live through that future.

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