Thursday, July 31, 2008

Innocence and Experience.

It seems that when you're younger, your brain is more flexible and can extend over more things at once; and when you're older, the brain's focus is narrower but you can think more deeply. It really is true that when you're younger, like under 15 years old, it is possible to watch television and read at the same time. Parents have trouble believing it, but in fact that's how it is. I can remember doing my homework in front of the T.V. and being able to take concentrate on both. Kids can have a conversation and listen to music at the same time. Young brains and minds are flexible enough. Then as you get older, you are able to concentrate in more depth, but distractions are harder to cope with. The brain, or mind, is like a camera lens, if I've got it right. The wider the field of focus, the shallower the depth. Narrower focus goes with greater depth.
It makes sense. It fits in with the idea of an Intelligent Designer making the human creature the way he or she is made. When you're young, there is a huge amount to take in and think about. You need to set the mind to 'wide' to take it all in. Without meaning it rudely, a younger mind is more 'easily amused' because everything is new. Then when you get a few years behind you, it's not so simple to find something that keeps your interest - but then you can do more with what you like, because you can think about it more deeply. All that's helpful, because you get the chance to find out what you like and stick more with it. So what all that says is, young minds are 'easily amused' because they're checking out the world, and there's a lot to check. Older people have sorted out what they like and don't like or what interests them and what doesn't. So being 'an old stick in the mud' can really be knowing what you like and what you think. It shows in clothing fashion. You see the different ideas come, and go, and come again; so sooner or later, if you've got a mind of your own, you work out what you like. Trust me - I've been around for a bit. In my life men's ties have gone wide, narrow, wide and narrow again. Women's skirts have gone short, long, short and long again. Back a few years men kept their hair short. Then the 60s happened, and it was long hair on men. Now it's short again, even to the head-shave look. Well, it's a free society! Make your own choice!
It's a pity that over 40s and under 25's don't always realize: if you're over 40,
well, you were under 25 once. In fact, you were much younger than that, obviously. If you're under 25, well guess what: if you live a good long life, you'll be over 40 for at least half of it. So look on the bright side. When you're younger, trying new things can be a real thrill. It's part of getting to know yourself. When you're over 40, or 50 or however long you get, then certain things are settled. You can focus more deeply about the things that you've decided are important or interesting to you.
Like a lot of people, I sometimes think 'if I could have my life over again...' etc. Sure, there are a few mistakes I could avoid, especially things like hurting other peoples' feelings or just being a selfish idiot. But then you learn from your mistakes, as well (or if you don't that really IS being a blockhead).
There was this song in the 70s by Cat Stephens, called "Father and Son". One of the lines goes 'From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen.' Right! I've had that feeling, too! Everyone on your case wanting to give you the benefit of their experience - or just big-note themselves because they're older. Sometimes you have to do things and find out for yourself. It's important for everyone to remember that. Then again, there are some mistakes that cost too much to make. It can be horrifying when someone finds out the hard way what happens if they drive recklessly.
It's not true that youth is wasted on the young. That is the time when you learn by taking in a lot, and checking out all that there is to see. Older people might sometimes forget that you need your childhood and youth to learn things. Then from the other side it can be really hard to see somebody making what you are sure is a bad mistake. You can't help wanting to stop them.
It's a problem. My personal answer is, I'm glad God is there to keep things under control. The rate of wasted lives would be horrific otherwise.


Randi Jo :) said...

good entry! :)

Farrah said...

I'm so glad you stopped by and left those kind comments on my blog! Thank you for your prayers. I am happy to say that my health has drastically improved over the past six months. All glory to God! Jesus has been truly good to me, and illness has brought me closer to Him. I still struggle sometimes with ups and downs, but I am so much better that I don't like to complain.

I plan to look into your book! Sounds like I would be interested in it! Our little family of three has started working on our own fantasy series. I don't know if it will ever come to anything, but we have really enjoyed sitting around discussing ideas, especially our 8 year old son. We homeschool, so I hope this will contribute to his education. :-)

What a nice, thoughtful post. I think you're right about the differences between youthful and not-so-youthful minds. It got me to thinking: God can use these differences to His advantage when "delegating" jobs to His followers.

You know, we could have a very interesting discussion about this subject. If only there were more hours in the day! These are the times when I anticipate heaven. My dad use to talk about how he will enjoy sitting down and chatting with various saints for a few thousand years. I'm not saying heaven will be like that, but it's still fun to think about. :-)

Getting back to your post, if I might throw out this example. Young people like to take up new causes and fight for them with passion. They gave energy and zeal. This is sorely needed right now in the political world. I've noticed that older people have little interest in politics if they haven't already become interested earlier in life. On the other hand, older people are good at holding on to solid traditional values in a world where truth is constantly being chipped away and challenged. We need both kinds of people. The youth for political activism to keep liberals from completely taking over our government, and the elderly to keep us firmly rooted despite the currents of change. I can't do my thoughts justice right now, because I'm rushing this. At any rate, I hope I gave you some idea of where your post took my mind.

We are not being supported by a church as present, and I have recently found the internet to be a wonderful place to meet my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I have also learned some valuable lessons from them. I am excited to meet you! I will be back to "visit" again.


Kendall said...

Mr. Clarke,

Thank you so much for your encouragement and your recommendation! I've been looking for good books to read, since I seem to have exhausted all the works of my favorite authors, and I'll most certainly look into yours. Thank you again for your kind words. It meant a lot to me to read your comments.

Eternally His,


Taylor-Tot said...

i like this post!!! it makes sense thinking about it. i never did(until now) understand y my mom can't talk and listen 2 music at the same time, and the homework thing is good 2, my mom needs 2 read this. i just made a new post and i would like 2 no ur opinion on wat i said its called A pengelum... i think, its something like that- Taylor Tot

toniballster said...

Thanks for the blog comments! It's late, but I wanted to stop by and say hi. Great blog! I will go read your story tomorrow after church. I look forward to it :)

PatriCa BB said...

Hi Mr. Clarke,

I can see your passion in writing/ blogging. Thanks for sharing it!

Taylor-Tot said...


Taylor-Tot said...

Thank you!!! im glad it made sense!!!

Anonymous said...

thank you for the comment.
and i enjoyed reading your post
i love painting. i used to be really bad at it.. but it just takes work i guess : )

toniballster said...

I read your book's excerpt and what I read sounds great! Like something I could really get into. I'll have to look for it! And I think it's really cool that you retired and are able to follow a dream!

zhakee said...

Hi, thanks for commenting over at my blog. I have not traveled out of my home country, I'm too poor for that. Heck, I haven't even traveled all that much in my own, huge, country. I would love to see Australia and New Zealand, but with the price of oil these days, yowza. (well, as a kid I did venture into Mexico, but I can barely remember that journey).

Your own blog has some interesting commentary on life and religion, and I'll be back to read more.

As for fantasy stories, I have not read the one you suggested, but I will track it down and check it out. I love both sci fi and fantasy, although I like it best when the sci fi leans into the fantasy.

During the past year I have inundated myself into 2 amazing fantasy worlds, both involving 10-11 huge novels of such intensity, depth, and wonderful writing skills that I want to go to those worlds to visit! Last fall I began reading Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" series, which is the darkest world I've ever visited via words, and it is a world of deep religion, horrific good vs. evil, magic, pain, suffering and delving into the way religion, politics and people with opposing interests, interact. Amazing reading material, time consuming, dark, but enlightening too.

This spring I started Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time", and I have not quite finished the final book in series. This is a much "lighter" read and develops peoples of different cultures and races in great detail. There is magic, evil, and women play an extremely strong role in the story. There is incredible depth to the tale, weaving legends into the plot and bringing those legends to life as the novels progress. Again, a wonderful read.

Krosemarie said...

I like this post very much....You have a very good way of writing and explaining things...Thank you so much for commenting on my poetry blog, it means a lot...


Deep thoughts... said...

Hi Andrew, thanks as always for for such poignant insights. I can relate to your comments at the latter part of this post about it being hard to watch youth making some bad mistakes. It's even harder when they're making the exact same mistakes you made in your youth, but they won't listen to your wise counsel! My wife and I have, and are currently experiencing this with our early 20's aged children.

And it's so true that younger minds are more flexible and able to multi-task. I'm a great example. Several years ago I worked as a 9-1-1 dispacther, a job that requires multi-tasking. The older I got the harder it became to do the job. I only lasted about 10 years in that profession.

Before I go I must tell you that Outasts of Skagary was an excellent book!!! Thanks so much for writing it and recommending it! I posted the first review for it at and gave it a 5 star rating. I mean it as a complement when I refer to it as a Peretti like portrayal of spirutal warfare. One thing that caught me right away was the worship of "Tradition." The Skagary youth were required by tradition hunt and kill. The larger the kill, the greather their status in the community. The "tradition idol" is one that is terribly difficult to overcome in church and in society in general. Anyone reading this comment, do not delay in reading Outcasts of Skagary! You will enjoy it very much.

Thanks again Andrew! Blessings!

Luke said...

so is having a flexible brain a good or bad thing? Jesus says that those "who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mark 10:15). I would read this as pro-keeping flexible minds and anti-rigid and legalistic minds of some adults.

here's an excellent program on how memory works, enjoy!

my blog post on reality:

Mythicnight said...

Ah, labeling. It's quite annoying, or so I have found now days. Most people that label are obnoxious; they judge on appearance, your religion, and how your thoughts differ with their own. They don't find out more about you; once they label you, they no longer care.
Thank you for taking the time to tell me about your book. I may take a look at it; it sounds like it would be an interesting read. ^_^
I like your blogs; they show a lot of consideration for things. But, I cannot help but disagree with some of your theories, for some things have turned out differently in my case. It also doesn't help that my religion has drastic differences compared with yours. :]
Still, I love the way you put thought into what you say, and found this post quite interesting. It made me consider a differences between youth, and older age. Though, I know multiple cases where it is the exact opposite. My father, for instance, wasn't able to concentrate on two things such has the television and his homework or reading at the same time when he was younger. Now he can do both things easily.
My sister was the same. She had to be in solitude to do her work, or to read until she was around eighteen. Now she can read/do homework/study and watch television, or listen to music at the same time. Though, she prefers not to, just in case.
I don't know how it will turn out for me, has I am not past the age of even fifteen yet. But, so far, my multi-tasking skills are much better than any of my families skills has of thus far. =D I do hope that doesn't mean that I shall have difficulties with multi-tasking when I'm older. That wouldn't be very good for my artistic aspirations.