Again and again, it seems, scientific discoveries align with what the ancients knew was true simply by reading their parchments. And today’s “Upside of Aging” story in the Wall Street Journal is another one of those times.
Titus 2 says the older should teach the younger. New research says,
A surprising array of mental functions hold up well into old age, while others actually get better. Vocabulary improves, as do other verbal abilities. … Older brains are packed with more so-called expert knowledge — information relevant to your occupation or hobby. … They also store more “cognitive templates,” or mental outlines of generic problems and solutions that can be tapped when confronting new problems.
All three categories seem especially conducive to a productive mentoring relationship.
One gentleman quoted in the article said he’s “gotten better with people, more understanding of young people and more patient with aggressive ones. I’m more savvy about when to rush and when not to,” he says. This is because “the older brain [has] greater control over emotions, especially negative ones such as impatience and anger.”
“That doesn’t mean older brains flatline when it comes to sensitivity,” the article reports. “Instead, they often show a keen emotional intelligence and ability to judge character.”
What better qualifications for helping a young person make decisions about relationships and future plans? To me the mentoring model of older with young made intuitive sense because the people who’ve been around longer have more life experience and presumably, more wisdom.
Now I have scientific evidence to back those hunches up. It’s nice, but not essential. When I see stories like these I don’t think, oh, good, I can keep on believing this book. Instead, I think, of course it backs it up, the Bible is Truth.
Copyright 2007 Candice Watters. All rights reserved.