Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Bottle opening

It's still a hot topic - who is more knowledgeable, youngsters or oldies? There are young people who regard older people as ignorant and behind the times, and oldies who regard the young as clueless and wet behind the ears.

Personally I believe it's a mixture. Both oldies and youngsters are clued-up on some things and baffled by others. No age group has a monopoly on knowledge. Just because you've lived for 60 or 70 years doesn't mean you've acquired more knowledge than a teenager. You may just have accumulated more wrong ideas and pointless skills.

A recent survey reveals 40 things oldies are more likely to know than youngsters. Like how to sew on a button, multiply without a calculator, wire a plug, spell correctly, play chess, iron a shirt, polish shoes, name different birds, make marmalade or give first aid. I'm pleased to say I can do most of them, so how clever am I?

But youngsters could no doubt name 40 things they know that oldies probably don't know - especially things involving technology or passing exams or the damage we're doing to the planet or academic bullshit. And of course they'll ask why anyone needs to know how to sew on a button or make marmalade.

I certainly don't feel I'm more wised-up than the young. For all the things I'm familiar with, there are dozens of other things I know nothing about. Furthermore I'm now much more conscious of my enormous ignorance than when I was young. Back then I was confident I understood all the world's problems and how to solve them. The tangled complexities of life totally escaped me.

Still, some knowledge is important, some isn't. As long as I have the essential skills like opening a wine bottle, unwrapping a chocolate bar, swearing at politicians and dodging Bible bashers, everything's just fine and dandy.

18 comments:

John Gray said...

''Tis always been the way my friend

Joanne Noragon said...

Perhaps it all evens out in the end, Nick. I doubt youngsters ever iron their tee shirts.

CheerfulMonk said...

I don't iron my clothes either, and I somehow to survive. :D

helen devries said...

Gave up ironing a long time ago....but opening bottles takes constant practice..

nick said...

John: What has? Each generation believing it knows more than the others?

Joanne: I doubt it. But I don't iron my tee shirts either.

Jean: You don't iron your clothes? I'm shocked, shocked I tell you.

Helen: Opening bottles is a basic life skill. That and draining a wine glass at speed while appearing to sip it politely.

Bijoux said...

It seems as though every generation has a skill set based upon the time they grew up in. My grandmothers never learned to drive but could knit and crochet anything you could possibly want and can all sorts of food. I never had a reason to knit or can but I can do all sorts of technological things none of my ancestors could.

Wisewebwoman said...

I believe comparisons are odious when it comes to young and old. We need to face up to our diminishing faculties too. I know so many elders who no longer feel the need to learn new skills or fresh ways of doing things.

Perhaps that is the key? Not giving up. Getting to know the youth of today personally. I find them refreshing and full of creative ideas and skills.

I would love to see more elders and youngers engaged in healthy debate and sharing of expertise.

XO
WWW

Rummuser said...

I am fortunate in that I have resident younger advisors who either advice me or take over tasks that I simply cannot handle myself. There are still things that I can do which they very gladly delegate to me. It is a give and take and I am quite comfortable with the arrangement.

nick said...

Bijoux: I guess you're right that each age group has a distinctive skill set. Not sure what mine is though. Maybe knowing what to do with a fireplace?

www: Yes, sharing expertise between the various generations is very beneficial to all concerned. And yes also, as we get older we need to keep our brains active and not vegetate.

nick said...

Ramana: As www said, that sort of give and take between different generations is very stimulating to all involved. If someone takes the attitude that other generations have nothing to teach them, that's their loss.

tammy j said...

i gave my iron away years and years ago. it's a happy thing to do.
last summer a 10 year old boy had to show me how to choose water in a computerized soft drink vending machine. so i believe in shared knowledge! there are some brilliant children out there. and some wise ones too.
we saw some great examples in the march recently. they organized that whole protest and march by themselves. and there were thousands of them all across this country. and they did it peacefully and with serious grace. it kind of made the big NRA corporate bosses and the silly self important bickering politicians look ridiculous in comparison. the self proclaimed experts could take a lesson from them. though doubt they would admit to it. that's the problem with most of the experts. they think they know everything. thus the name politician! :)

nick said...

Tammy: Those marches were really impressive, and as you say organised entirely by youngsters. Good to see young people taking political action and not simply accepting the status quo. We have plenty of self important bickering politicians here too. The public just want them to stop the pointless squabbling and get on with the job we pay them to do.

peppylady (Dora) said...

hello from Idaho found your blog though Jean and hopeful I can keep moving forward in some way.
If you have time stop by for a cup coffee

nick said...

Dora: I'd love to drop in for coffee. Unfortunately as you're in North Idaho and I'm in Belfast, that would take some arranging! However, thanks for checking out my blog!

Danielle L Zecher said...

It is interesting to think about the different things that different generations know how to do. I don't fit in either age category in the article you linked to, but I'm closer to the younger group. I know some of the things, but not all of them. Most of my friends are significantly older than me, and I spent a lot of time with my grandparents, so I think I've learned more from older people than the average person my age.

I'm not sure the managing money point is accurate, though, at least here in the US. So many people have nothing, or very little, saved for retirement, including those very to retirement age. I can't help wondering if maybe younger people are just a little more honest about not managing money well.

I like your list of essential skills. Hubby (also a Nick) and I have very different skills, so the true essentials are pretty well covered.

nick said...

Danielle: That's interesting that you spent a lot of time with your grandparents and picked up a lot of skills from them. You're right about retirement - many people in the UK have no personal pension and very little savings, if any. In many cases they find it impossible to save because all their money is going on day-to-day living, including sky-high rents and mortgages, and paying off old debts like student loans.

Polly said...

Life's too short for ironing, I only iron cotton and linen. Hear hear to your last sentence. I learn quite a lot from my 14 year old grandson. I tell him stuff that I have accumulated, I think some of it is processed :-)

nick said...

Polly: I iron my shirts but I never iron anything else. Jenny insists on ironing the dishcloths!