The Counsel of Years

From Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata:

“Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.”

I had previously thought of this as an admonition to accept the wisdom of your elders, or the like, but it occurs to me that in the “counsel of years” Ehrmann is digging deeper, referring to our own internal wisdom, the things, if (big IF) we are open to them, we come to believe over time not because those things have changed, but because we have changed.  As a simple example, my thoughts on salad have changed with time.  Salad hasn’t really changed, still the same lettuce, tomato, dressing, etc.  Instead, the “counsel of years” has caused me to readjust that thinking, and resulted in my “surrendering the things of youth.”  Of course this hopefully happens on a grander stage, and the “counsel of the years” alters how I see people, races, genders, etc.  The “counsel of years” has been busy, and certainly has more work ahead of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s