Raising teenagers, my husband and I often talk about how they think they know everything. We hear them dialogue about subjects they have googled and their belief that they are experts, thanks to Wikipedia articles. To them, random and often unimportant facts seem to take priority over the experience of their parents.
But then, we smile at each other and talk about how we were probably the same way. There’s really nothing new under the sun. Generations and thousands of years of existence seem to remind us that teenagers typically think they know much more than they really do. I chuckle at the comedian who says Adam and Eve must have been teenagers, since they thought they knew more than God.
Time goes on, and our teens enter the real world. Whereas before, they didn’t realize there was an electric bill or that those long showers add up, now each decision is measured in how many hours it takes to work for that movie ticket or that meal out.
A Pass-Fail Thing
So it was for us too. I launched out into life with a hard work ethic, lofty goals, and a lot of naivety. Most of what I’ve learned in life has not been due to googling; rather like Al says to Rudy in my all time favorite movie Sahara, “It’s a pass-fail type thing.”
In today’s society we are told that success is based on graduating or accomplishing, but that’s simply the end of one journey. The real learning comes as we work hard to achieve the goal. Whether it’s graduating high school, marriage, having kids or homeschooling them, the greatest teacher has been time, failure, and experience.
As I progress through my work, assembling content for Family Magazine or planners, I frequently encounter topics that happen to cover areas I’ve grown the most in over the past twenty years. I see how I’ve grown in my own faith, as well as in my understanding of topics ranging from time management and planning to an understanding of the character of God and how that impacts my parenting and marriage. Each article, each discussion, and each point of view brings me back to the realization that experience – both the passing and the failing – has made an impact on my life that I want to pass on to my children, that they too may learn from the greatest teacher.