Personal Growth: You’re Never Too Old to Learn from the Young

Personal Growth: You’re Never Too Old to Learn from the Young September 12, 2023

Ephesians 4:29 states, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Here’s the story of a day that proved to me, you’re never too old to learn from the young.

A Day of Fun

I was visiting my seven-year-old, raised-in-church grandson Risden in Alabama in June of 2020. I had promised to come pick him up for a day of “mischief,” to which he replied, “I love mischief!” There were some activities I planned in advance–going to get cupcakes at Smallcakes Cupcakery in Oxford (Seriously, if you’re ever in Oxford, Alabama, you have to try them!), visiting Oxford Lake Park to eat our cupcakes by the lake, and of course, perusing the toy store for a special purchase–but I wanted to let Risden choose something he wanted to do, as well. He wanted to take his scooter to the skate park. That sounded like a nice, full, fun afternoon! 

Showdown at the Skate Park

Our first three stops accomplished, we headed to the skate park. It was almost empty, except for three young teen-aged boys on their skateboards. Unintimidated, Risden put on his helmet that rather resembled a Roman galea, and took off on his scooter. 


The three teenagers were obviously and rudely amused. Risden fell, and they laughed. It would have been so easy at that moment for him to hang his head and quit. It would have been so easy for me to give those boys a piece of my mind!

Instead, Risden got right back up and got back to riding his scooter. One of the older boys whizzed past on his board and peeled up a ramp. Risden tried the ramp and couldn’t do it. As a second boy swooshed by him, Risden, much to my concern, called out to him: “Hey, can you do a kick flip?” 


The boy replied by doing one and then sailing back around him. (I was getting nervous.)


Risden replied, “Wow! Can you do an ollie?”


I heard the other two boys talking: “Little Dude knows skate!”


The boy Risden was talking to said, “No but Josh can (indicating his friend).


Then Josh whizzed by, executing a moderately accomplished ollie.


Suddenly,  all three tennagers were out there showing off their “tricks” for Risden.


Let me just say, with a little grandmotherly pride, “I WAS SO BLOOMIN’ IMPRESSED!”


Proverbs 10:19 says, “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.”


The three other boys left, and Risden rolled on until he was hot and tired. Then we went for a cold soda before I took him home.

The Lesson I Learned

My grandson could have been discouraged by the words and attitudes of those teen-agers, but instead, he practiced a wisdom I have seen in him so many times. I learned that I don’t have to respond to contentious people defensively or argumentatively to achieve a positive exchange, and that, indeed, “a soft word turns away wrath” (Proverbs 15:1). Yes, you’re never too old to learn from the young.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

By the way, you may have noticed the shirt Risden is wearing in the picture. It says “IT’S COOL TO BE KIND.” Oh yes, he is very cool!

God bless you, and may He send you happy lessons today! Remember, you’re never too old to learn from the young.

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