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Each generation doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel. And often those before have wrestled with similar issues as we do. There’s great wisdom in learning from the old paths even as we chart the new.

Teenagers are known for their youthful pride. They believe they know the answers to many of life’s questions while their parents have become out of touch with how things really work. The old is out of date and foolish while the new is considered superior and on point. This pride is also observed in one generation’s attitude toward another, and even how one period of history views others – usually those before. The fancy word for this is chronocentrism.

While our time is new and no one has ever faced our challenges in the exact same way, it’s arrogant to consider those before us have nothing to offer. And while former solutions might not be a perfect fit today, there is deep wisdom from the past we can still build on.

For instance, we’re not the first to navigate the messy relationships of marriage, family, and friendships. While the particulars might look different, what do our elders have to teach us? Likewise, gender and sexuality have been around since the beginning. Are we the only ones finally smart enough to figure out how things should be? Or is there still something to learn from those before?

Certainly, there are times in which our parents and previous generations didn’t handle issues well and we can learn from their mistakes. But we must also remain humble and never assume that we’ve mastered the issues of life and those before us are hopelessly obsolete.

The old paths contain wisdom and can shed much light on the issues of our day. Don’t be arrogant. Learn from those who’ve gone before.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024