But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. (James 3:17)
In previous generations, the young and old interacted more frequently. Grandparents often lived in the same neighborhood, the next farm over, or even in the same home. Now, families are more spread out and even fractured. The unintended consequence is children are missing much-needed wisdom. Too often, children are learning from sporting coaches who have specific goals and winning is primary. Both older adults and children suffer by not sharing and experiencing generational wisdom and love.
Niklas Goke, in his article, “Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life” affirms, “If you make happiness the meaning of life, every time you’re not happy, you’ll feel like a failure.” Happiness can only be a secondary reaction to other, more meaningful commitments. Learning these commitments is the role of the family wisdom-bearers.
For Goke, these rules help us create a strong sense of personhood. I do not have space to share all twelve, but I want you to consider at least some of these moments of wisdom. Here are some of his recommendations for a good life. “Stand up straight with your shoulders back.” We are God’s children and God gives us the ability to face each day with courage and confidence. It is about taking responsibility for your life.
Goke continues, “Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world.” So often we pick on the things others do, because they are the things we hate about ourselves. When we get our emotional and spiritual house in order, our attitudes toward others becomes more merciful and loving. When our acceptance increases, we can begin to see the wisdom in others. “Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t.” This gets us back to older people and younger people. We have so much to offer one another. Ask God to open your life to the blessings of people younger and older. Ask God to give you the creativity to find the wisdom in others.