Talking to someone at work one day, she opined that she’d been surprised that a very experienced chap, of nearly 60, had come on a training course.

But age shouldn’t decide who gets training. I know plenty of pig-headed twenty and thirtysomethings, who’d have got far less from and will do less with that training course. It’s your openness to ideas, not your age that matters.

And following that conversation, it dawned on me that nearly all the people I most enjoy conversation and contemplation with, are at least ten years older than me.

And a good many much older. When it comes to thinking about things, you can’t beat the right sort of older person.

Contemporary society glorifies youth. But younger people haven’t always got all that much to say. ‘Relevant complexity’ in people takes time to grow.

Openness, curiosity and the experience of advancing years are key attributes of the Aristotelian ‘friend in contemplation’. Thomas Aquinas’s ‘prudentia’ – practical wisdom – is not innate, it is learned. The wisdom of ages takes time.

When comes to ‘relevant complexity’ – the oldies are the goodies. Which is a good job, as we’re none of us getting any younger.

‘Relevant complexity’ is a life’s work. Enjoy.

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