Rise of the Young and the Wise

Moving to Canada was a culture shock to my family, more so my family since I was only about 3 years old and didn’t really know my culture. Growing up, I thought the culture we practiced at home was Canadian, up until I actually made Canadian friends and realized things were very different. For one, My family and I are very passionate about having a family dinner. My mother or father would cook while the 3 kids sat around intently awaiting orders to either help, or finally sit around the table to eat. When around the table, we would discuss various topics: what was new on CNN, what was new at school, what we learned, etc. Something I noticed of my Canadian friends was that they didn’t have family dinners. The parents would cook and the members of the family would all retrieve their dinners whenever they wanted and eat wherever they wanted. No familial bonding. How sad.

As my brothers and I grew older, we had the tendency to apply our university knowledge into our everyday conversations at the dinner table. How could we not? All of a sudden we knew more than we thought our father knew, we felt like Gods. Of course, our feelings of supreme power did not last very long as my father somehow ended up disregarding our new knowledge, characterizing it as wrong and “liberal brainwashing”. No matter what we learned, it was wrong. It seemed everything we learned at school was wrong. We would confront my father about these “wrong” teachings that the university he paid for was placing upon us and he would always respond with the same thing: damn millennials think they know everything. It was quite beautiful really, his ability to deny literally everything new. If you couldn’t tell, he’s resistent to change (which may explain his conservative political views). Since my father has such a polarized mentality, new information is deemed “inaccurate” and he proceeds to teach us his traditional view-point (of over 30 years ago).

I like to think that as we aged, we acquired new knowledge not just from educational institutions, but from our experiences with the world. For a long time, scientists thought that being homosexual was a disease, but as time went on and there was a greater presence of homosexuals in the world, scientists could no longer say it was a disease. Now, homosexuality is taught in educational institutions as being just another way of life that some people are born with. Many mental disorders such as autism, anxiety, depression are also getting light shed onto them as more people experience these disorders in their everyday life. Now, mental disorders are being studied in schools and they are finally receiving the public awareness they deserve. What starts off as blind intuition seems to result in knowledge acquisition (of course not all gut feelings are right). So how can it be that as certain subjects become solidified as factual, there are people out in the world that resist adopting these new ideas?

My dad used to say “el diablo sabe mas por viejo, que por diablo” which loosely translates to: the devil knows more from being old than from being the devil. I’m sure you’ve all attributed old age with being wiser and more knowledgeable. It seems however, that is no longer true. Perhaps it is the youth that is becoming wiser. Youth are more likely to accept scientific evidence as true, mostly because we’ve been taught all our lives that strong evidence can support any claim. On the other hand (or as my father would argue), perhaps the youth is relying too much on science and we’re blindly following what is given to us by our professors. He would claim we don’t ask enough questions, that we’re too eager to accept new things as true, and that we’ve become incapable of thinking for ourselves or creating our own opinions on certain topics. For the latter, he blames the general public that is too quick to jump down your throat if your opinion does not match society’s. My father would say we’re conditioned to think the way institutions want us to think, essentially “brain washing” us (those damn liberals). Personally, I think that is getting old.

via Daily Prompt: Age

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