Lost Sayings of the Jedi Christian 4

Crabbed Age and Youth

Two things are certain. In our natural state the older and younger generation tend to dismiss the worth of the other. It has been so since the beginning of time. In a poem attributed to Shakespeare, Crabbed Age and Youth, The Passionate Pilgrim, it is stated as follows:

CRABBƒË†D Age and Youth
Cannot live together:
Youth is full of pleasance,
Age is full of care;
Youth like summer morn,
Age like winter weather;
Youth like summer brave,
Age like winter bare.
Youth is full of sport,
Age’s breath is short;
Youth is nimble, Age is lame;
Youth is hot and bold,
Age is weak and cold;
Youth is wild, and Age is tame.
Age, I do abhor thee;
Youth, I do adore thee;
O, my Love, my Love is young!
Age, I do defy thee:
O, sweet shepherd, hie thee!
For methinks thou stay’st too long.

My first exposure to this poem was as a young man when I sang Ned Rorem’s art songs From an Unknown Past. I enjoyed singing it because it exalted the irrelevance of older people in general and my parents and other authority figures specifically. Now as an older man I see this situation as a tragic disruption of a God-intended mutual respect. JM Paul introduces a dual command: the older are likely to despise youth and Paul tells young Timothy not to allow them to do that, and by inference tells us older types such an attitude is not acceptable; the young are likely to be dismissive of the old, and so in our tradition the young are commanded to honor parents, widows, elders and masters and to show special respect for those who have earned it through their life of obedience to God. My generation must not despise yours and your generation must not dismiss ours.

Old Man at Lens Crafters.
You see an old man bent, unsteady gait, a tremor, straining at every task; I see a man once proud, confident and sure, a fast-tracker, one to watch, accomplisher of great things. You see an old man bent. I see me, I see you.

Posted in Staublog, Thoughts in November 4, 2002 by | No Comments »

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