Job 12:12, "With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding."
In this dispensation of time called, "Hurry up!" it is also incumbent upon us to slow down and listen. As a therapist in training, one of the skills I am learning to develop is a term called 'active listening.' Active listening involves using more than your ears to listen to your client, it also requires listening with your eyes, your mind, and your heart. Similarly, when graced to sit in the presence of someone blessed with the gift of wisdom, it is likewise helpful to utilize active listening. Why? Because a wise person imparts wisdom in a variety of ways. You can learn wisdom by the way they conduct themselves, by listening to their conversations, by studying their movements, and, believe it or not, by meditating on their mistakes. Yes, a wise person can you teach you a lot by the way they handle their mistakes.
The scriptures say that with the mature, there is wisdom, and among those who are older, is great understanding. I have found out that in many areas, those who have been engaged in a thing for a longer period time than you have can teach you a lot. We know that older does not always translate to wiser; however, we cannot deny that older does point to a person with more experience, good or bad. Therefore, active listening is a skill set to use when allowed to sit in the presence of a mature person. This will make for a learning experience, undoubtedly.
As a child, I would often find myself in trouble because I loved being around my elders. I was mature for my age because I had to grow up quicker than I should have so I felt more comfortable around older people than those my own age. I now know that God created a thirst within me for wisdom. Of course, my elders didn't always perceive it that way! And I got my share of rebukes for, "not staying in a child's place," but I could not deny what I gravitated to.
Being an elder now, I appreciate the gift of wisdom. I embrace those who have gone before me in a particular thing, and I also know when to stay in my lane and be quiet when wisdom is crying out to me from the lips of my elders. I found wisdom to be an intrinsic part of who I am and what humors me, even at this point in my life, is when I am in the company of someone whom I can impart wisdom to, and they cannot discern the difference. It is painful and reminds me of what the Preacher said in Ecclesiastes 1:18, "For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow." Listening is half the battle, and in some cases, determines who wins.