I am a bald male. This has been true for many years, but until this morning I didn’t realize what all that entailed. As I walked into a local establishment, a purveyor of fine coffee, I saw many distinguished looking men and women scattered about. All were nicely dressed, seemed to be talking about important things and looked intelligent. Ok, what does this have to do with my bald head? Well, they all had one distinguishing trait, not only did they have hair, it was ‘salt and peppered’ hair.
What occurred to me next was, I’ll never have ‘salt and peppered’ hair. No one will ever look at me and think, “he’s nicely dressed, seems to be talking about important things, and looks intelligent based on his hair.” That, in and of itself, is no big deal and I won’t lose any sleep over this tonight, but what it did was caused me to think… Why do we assume someone is intelligent and has wisdom based on their ‘look’?
I’m glad you asked, ok I asked, but i’ll answer us just the same. It’s the salt, in the peppered hair, that causes us to take notice. You know the ‘grey’ that so many spend their life trying to avoid and life makes every effort to give it to you anyways. Grey hair is a sign, an indicator of many things. To the ‘greying’ its a sign of aging and departure from youth. To those with discerning eyes, it’s an indicator that this person has been through some things and has learned the right or maybe the wrong ways to approach life.
Here’s where it all gets messy. Aging people carry something that youth need, it’s called wisdom. Wisdom that only comes from experiences in life, and can’t be found in a book or bestowed by a university. Young people also carry something the aging envy, and that is youth. Rather than combining our efforts and cohabiting we often see the ‘bitter’ aging against the ‘rebellious’ youth and vice versa. It’s a cycle that visits each generation, look at your own lives and you will find this to be true to some extent.
The ‘rock’n & roller’ of the 70’s listening to Starland Vocal Band’s “afternoon delight’ is now the grandparent of the teen bumping Miley’s “wrecking ball.” Ok, here’s my point, lets sum this up. To some extent, this will always be the case, and I’m not sure we could or should try to change this. I am proposing however that we learn from one another and rather than being bitter or rebellious, appreciate each other. Fact is, all of us were young, and if we are lucky all of us will age. This being the case, let’s help one another and in doing so we both might learn something.
Oh yeah.. and what makes me the authority on this subject? Well, I’m bald, so i’m the obvious neutral party between the dark and the grey.
“So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” Psalm 71:18