Rule 2: You will get older but not necessarily wiser

Dr. Tobe Momah, MD, FAAFP with wife Rita (M) and Mum, Christiana Momah

There is an
assumption that as we get older we will get wiser; not true I am afraid. The
rule is we carry on being just as daft, still making plenty of mistakes. It is
just that we make new ones, different ones. We do learn from experience and may
not make the same mistakes again, but there is a whole new pickle jar of fresh
ones just lying in wait for us to trip up and fall into. The secret is to
accept this and not beat yourself up when you do make new ones. The Rule really
is: be kind to yourself when you do muck things up. Be forgiving and accept
that it’s all part of that growing older but no wiser routine.

Looking
back, we can always see the mistakes we made but we fail to see the ones
looming up. Wisdom isn’t about not making mistakes, but about learning to
escape afterwards with our dignity and sanity intact.
When we are
young, aging seems to be something that happens to, well, old people. But it
does happen to us all and we have no choice but to embrace it and roll with it.
Whatever we do and however we are, the fact is that we are going to get older.
And this aging process does seem to speed up as we get older.

The GDA, Dr. Peter Obafemi & Comedian Gbenga Adeyinka The First

You can look
at it this way—the older you get, the more areas you have covered to make
mistakes in. There will always be new areas of experience where we have no
guideline and where we will handle things badly, overreact, get it wrong. And
the more flexible we are, the more adventurous, the more life-embracing, then
the new avenues there will be to explore—and make mistakes in of course. As
long as we look back and see where we went wrong and resolve not to repeat such
mistakes, there is little else we need to do. Remember that any Rules that
apply to you also apply to everyone else around you. They are all getting older
too. And not any wiser particularly; once you accept this, you will be more
forgiving and kinder towards yourself and others.
Finally,
yes, time does heal and things do get better as you get older. After all, the
more mistakes you have made, the less likely that you will come up with new
ones. The best thing is that if you get a lot of your mistakes over and done
with early on in life, there will be less to learn the hard way later on. And
that’s what youth is all about, a chance to make all the mistakes you can and
get them out of the way.
(Excerpts from the Book: The Rules
of Life
by Richard Templar. Read
Rule 3 in our next post on Asabeafrika)