for older people to bemoan the fact that culturally, we no longer respect our elders. Tribal communities uphold the elders, because they have the most experience, and therefore the most wisdom.
The same is no longer true today, however. There’s good reason we don’t respect elders on the basis that they have more experience: they don’t.
We’re at a point where change is constant, and the rate of change is growing exponentially. So the elderly now may have lived more years, but they have not learnt as much as, say a college educated person.
That’s a big call, but it’s justified - intelligence has increased over the last two generations, because our education has improved significantly.
The typical person today reads far more words than our grandcestors did. We take in all sorts of information, from all around the world.
We learn not from tens, not from hundreds, but from thousands upon thousands of other humans. How could someone growing up fifty years ago possibly compete with that?
This is aside from all the bigotry that was the norm before more recent times. Combine that with what we’ve learnt about how we learn, and that differences compound upon themselves.
So I will respect people on their merits, not on their age. Simple as that.