I hate to say it but the younger generations might actually be smarter than me. I wish I could say that kids these days are dumb as rocks and “back in my day we learned calculus in 3rd grade”.. but the more I know and speak to young people the more I realize they are a zillion times smarter than I could have hoped to be at their same age. And I think I know why. GOOGLE (the neologism, not the specific search engine). They have access to instantaneous knowledge at their fingertips for most of their lives. When their teacher told them to research something they went home and read anything anyone has ever said about the topic..with visual aids, a youtube video, and 15 experts arguing over the latest research findings.
Me? I spent an hour at the library desperate to find some book that was written on the topic within the last 5 years and reading a little blurb in the 1995 World Book. Now that I have the wonder of the internet I get mad at myself when I don’t know something and waste no time researching it. With smartphones I am never without instant access to information (except when driving through long tunnels and most of Wyoming) I know the birthdays of almost every actor in all my favorite T.V. Shows (Thank you wikipedia and IMBD). I also learned that I am very good at guessing almost anyone’s age within 1 or 2 years. I should get a carnival job. Now that I am logged on I have hope that one day I too can be as smart as a 20 year old.
The intellectualism of the young is not all good though. These youngin’s are gettin’ too big for their britches. They have all this knowledge but not enough life experience to have developed wisdom. The worst part is that they KNOW they are smarter than us. They can recite facts like a boss and they have noticed that their parents and grandparents and older cousins just aren’t as swift as they are. How do you convince these young whipper-snappers that anything you say is worth listening to? Well, maybe we should ask them since they have all the answers.
Here are a few things I learned that Google didn’t teach me.
-How to choose a mate wisely
-The weaknesses of even “good” people
-The value in enduring hard times
-The value of beauty
-The limits of outward beauty
-The limits of high intelligence
-The difference between dignity and false pride
-The dangers in good intentions
-The power of prayer
-The misery of vain striving
-The weaknesses in materialism
The greatest theologians and philosophers of all time did not have Google, either. In fact, most of their scientific knowledge was woefully inadequate…and yet they had great wisdom about the human condition. We can still learn so much from Aquinas, Augustine, and the other Greats about how to be good and make the world better, and thankfully it is all public domain and available for free. Just Google it.