Learn from the Young

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12, New Living Translation

The Order of Celtic Wolves is proud to have a variety of ages of all sexualities and genders support it. Sometimes, though, even in pagan circles, some sadly delude themselves that age gives them greatness. We are fellow travellers, and I am always greatly impressed by the unique insight of younger people today, including my own son. They have been raised in a different world to the one I grew up in, and whilst we were taught respect, they seem a far more enlightened generation.

They are brought up with more inclusivity and diversity than my generation. There is less segregation, and a lot genuinely do care about the world and environment. We can learn from each other, and I am grateful for a mixture of ages in my own Druid Grove, the Wolves of Brigantia.

The Colloquy of the Two Sages from The Book of Leinster, a medieval Irish manuscript, recalls the tale of a confrontation between an older Bardic Druid called Ferchertne and a younger Bardic Druid called Nede: –

Ferchertne an older Bardic Druid was angry, and on seeing Nede, a much younger Bardic Druid, he said:

“Who is this poet, wrapped in a splendid robe
Who shows himself before he has chanted poetry?
According to what I see, he is only a pupil,
His beard but an arrangement of grasses.
Who is this contentious poet?
I never heard any wisdom from Adne’s son!
I never heard him ready with knowledge!
A mistake it is, his sitting in this seat.”

And Nede answered Ferchertne honourably:

“O ancient one, every sage tries to correct another!
Any sage may reproach an ignorant man,
But before he does so, he should see what evil is present.
Welcome is the piercing dart of wisdom,
Slight is the blemish to a youth until his art is questioned.
Step with care, O chieftain –
You belittle me with knowledge,
Though I have sucked the teat of a wise man.”

Nede the Bardic Druid by Heartinator

Ferchertne obviously has no or little regard for Nede, questioning his wisdom or knowledge. Despite his disparaging comments, though, notice how Nede sees through the jealousy and warns Ferchertne of his own evil within and of belittling to assert himself as superior.

No matter how wise or aged we are, we should never stop learning. We should also listen to the young, including children. As the Proverb says, “Out of the mouths of babes comes truth and wisdom.” That is because children don’t have the same filters that adults have, and they say things how they see them. Whereas adults are more restrained.

So whatever your age, benefit from wisdom and knowledge of all around you and let no one look down upon your youth.


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