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What, if anything, do you think young people can teach adults?

Should young people always listen to their elders? Some claim that older generations are "out of touch" and unable to offer meaningful advice to the young, while others believe that wisdom can come only with age. Which age group offers the most valuable opinions, and how can the young and the old teach each other meaningful lessons?

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    Jul 8 2011: At least two things if adults can learn from kids that will be wonderful

    Capability of asking questions relentlessly.
    Not being afraid to be wrong.
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    Jul 8 2011: "All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up."
    ~Pablo Picasso

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    Jul 7 2011: Guts and fun.
    Grown ups tend to play safe and value everything with productivity level.
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    Jul 9 2011: Anybody can teach and learn anything from anybody.

    Doesn't matter the age, religion, race, etc.

    Though...this can only happen when ego steps out of the equation.
  • Jul 9 2011: Young people can teach the old to have more FUN at work! People are more productive when they are happy. I don't think this new generation will tolerate brutal bosses for long. We aren't brow beaten enough to accept too much crap just because earlier generations did.

    What did all those previous generations fight for if not to have us have it a bit better. Come on!
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    Jul 8 2011: Young people are a mirror for elder people if they interact with them. Elder people can see how young people change depending on their actions towards the younger people. For example, an older person helps a younger person without asking for it. The next time the young person will wait to help him regardless of the situation. The adult will notice that and will see that the human brain is fast evolving, and be able to use this knowledge to trick his own mind. The older person can also be teached to be more vulnerable and not afraid to make mistakes because young people do this by nature and gain knowledge by doing it.

    Young people can teach elder people to bring a condom everywhere!
    Young people can teach elder people that punishment don't work.
    Young people can teach elder people that you need to rest more if you are moody.
    Young people can teach elder people how to get things done more quickly, a child will always find new ways to do something. Older people can be lazy with this.
    Young people can teach elder people that they are getting old.
    Young people can teach elder people that the human body has a good defense system if you trigger it (kids get dirty and get less sick)

    Young people can teach elder people to be patient and don't give up early.
    Young people can teach elder people that resting is of great importance.
    Young people can teach elder people that humans copy behavor.
    Young people can teach elder people that you dont need words to communicate.
    Young people can teach elder people that new things are not scared but can be really dangerous.
    Young people can teach elder people that you better be honest then pleasing others.
    Young people can teach elder people that small things can make you very happy.
    Young people can teach elder people how to become a good liar.
    Young people can teach elder how to get attention.
    Young people teach you how to manipulate the easy way.
    Young people can teach elder that everyone needs love.
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    G C

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    Jul 8 2011: Young people can teach old people to not be so afraid of what they don't understand. Embrace the world with youthful eyes and see the beauty again for the first time.

    Notice the way children, devoid of wisdom, look at the world for what it is and not what we understand it to be. A healthy dose of that will do wonders.
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    Jul 7 2011: Creativity. Imagination. Curiosity.
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    Jul 7 2011: One of the most joyful parts of my life has been learning from my own children. Everyone can teach us something but when your own children surpass your understanding in any area, it is the thrill of a lifetime. I routinely learn a lot from my eldest son on the topic of international diplomacy, political thought and life in other countries. One of my twins teaches regularly about literature and poetry. From the other twin, I learn so much about the intricacies of Economics and history. From my daughter I learn so much more about being a modern woman, relationships with men (with four brothers men are not the mystery to her that they are to me) and getting what you want out of life. From my second son, I learn to enjoy nature, life and challenge. I feel that I have learned more from my own children than from most other sources.
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      Jul 11 2011: Thumbs up!!!! ( because I've reached the maximum this week already). One of the things I learned from my 10 year old brother was that in certain situations,innocence can sometimes be good!!!
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      Jul 11 2011: Thumbs up!

      I think some of the most important things we can learn from children are... really simple: learning by doing. It's OK to make mistakes. Curiosity, innocence and impartiality. Complete physical exertion! Getting to know something new every day. Being social. Showing emotions.
  • Jul 14 2011: I guess the youngs can teach honesty
    to the olds and the olds can teach the
    youngs their painful experience in life.:)
  • Jul 13 2011: Every coming generation has a gammet of things that it can teach. It is just like a new set of experts arriving from future to make difference.

    As according to me, the younger generation teach the "art of acceptance" and "beauty of true diversity" in thoughts, living, choices and decisions. Though these two things are very significant to change the world for the better, they does qualify as a source for most rough moments!
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    Jul 12 2011: Yes, A perfect example of this is an increase amount of youth that are being hired on for non-profit organizations they range from staff to board executives and they do a extremly good job at being passionate and coming up with very fresh and out of the box ideas. Currenly some of the most sucessful local youth organization are 100% youth run. They do the grant writing, budgeting, promotions fundraising, logistics. All kids, form 12 to 18. Call me wierd but I always like to get my last final advice from a youth, because it is usually the most honest answer I will get.
  • Jul 11 2011: As a mother of 11 and 21 year old boys, and a Montessori Teacher of 3-6 year olds I believe that children constantly offer us opportunities to learn about ourselves. They challenge us to trust, find patience, be determined and persistent. They show us when we lead well and when we fail at leading. They show us how to play along even when we don't agree. They help us find out how to be strong and hopeful even when there seems no hope. They ask us to step out on a limb on faith that more is possible than that that can been seen. They ask us to plan, organize, and to let go and be in the moment. They teach us by example how to laugh, how to forgive, and how to love unconditionally. They teach us to see things we see every day in a a new way. They teach us to invent and create with out fear. They teach us how to sing and dance even if we don't know how. They teach us how imagine the impossible, to be fierce advocators, and debaters. They teach us how to compromise, and stand firm. They teach us how to have compassion to stand with them in their happiness and their pain. They teach us that sometimes nothing is the best thing to say and do in the moment. They teach us to listen. I suspect we are slow learners.
  • Jul 11 2011: One word.... Sexting
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    Jul 11 2011: I think younger people have an ability to relate to the advents of their day that for the most part older people tend to struggle with.
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    Jul 10 2011: If we agree in that young people cannot teach anything to adults, then we must also agree in the fact that things like education methodologies, contents and evaluative ways remain the same as were in past, because young people just yield to adult judgment and criteria. But I think nobody could risk to say that. Old people need to remember the way they used to do things when were young people, in order to take advantage of innovation and creativity for holding operating and up-to-date all the knowledge accumulated till today. Young people need old people to receive critical advice in order for not commiting fatal mistakes and for commiting mistakes with a decreasing rate, becoming this way in a competitive person.
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    Jul 9 2011: Young people can teach others to worry less, to trust life, to look forward to the future, to accomodate adversity, to embrace change, self respect, to try something new or go someplace different, to step off the road onto the beaten track, to wear your heart on your sleeve.
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    Jul 9 2011: Forgot to mention another thing adults can learn from kids is

    Ability to be happy with small thing & so called un-necessary reason...
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    Jul 9 2011: I think there is no general answer to this question. I think potentially, everybody can learn something from anybody else, regardless of the age.
    Wisdom is something different. It's what you make out of your knowledge and intelligence, but wisdom too, I think, has nothing to do with age.
    What I do believe though is that younger people tend to have more flexible minds, because they are still in the process to form their reality. Over time, this elasticity diminishes.
    So, looking at things with the eyes of a young person or a kid can give us a different perspective.
  • Jul 8 2011: Youth is a mirror of the Old. They show you who you (The old) are. The young should listen to their heart. Just as the old. Wisdom is timeless. It has nothing to do with age. The greatest lesson that I can teach my son is to allow him to trust his heart. To do that I have to trust my heart. because my son is my mirror.
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    Jul 8 2011: The young can teach older generations to be accepting of the different. I mean this in many ways, but I think its most evident in the reduction of prejudice and discrimination. For instance the older generations are much more likely to be homophobic, racist and sexist. Younger generations in our modern world (obviously hasn't happened throughout human history) are the ones who are at the forefront of driving perceptions of equality.
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    Jul 8 2011: Wisdom does not depend on age. One can be of any age and can have any level of wisdom. Also, wisdom does not depend on knowledge. If one is knowledgable it does not me he is wise, and vice versa.
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    Jul 8 2011: To Be Creative and Innovative

    as we grow up social 'norm' has more and more effect on us and we become less creative and innovative. Ask a child to describe a noun and they will most certainly come up with more descriptive adjectives than an adult. And just to think to all those things that were created on university campuses (e.g.: facebook)...
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    Jul 7 2011: Carpe Diem, Children, unlike us, are notorious for seizing the day. Then again if you are referring to young adults, the same cannot be said in general.
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    Jul 7 2011: perspective. to me it seems like the older working folk just live there life in loops. go to work. hate there job, get home, watch the news for a few hours, watch american idol, rince, repeat. life is really hard, and somtimes these loops are just easy to mantain. but they seem to leave no room for change.
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      Jul 7 2011: time to start hanging out with a different group of old people.
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        Jul 7 2011: me or those around me? im surounded by them all the time! (i work at a library.)
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          Jul 8 2011: hmm despite the stereotype I always found librarians a lively bunch and also quite eccentric. Suppose there's some dullards in the bunch though. Anyways, I find it hard not to be in a rut if those around me are in one. You may be different, but at some point we are all a social species. 1 or 2 people I don't mind since we are all here to help each other out, but if everyone around me has that warped mentality its time to seek out new socialization.
          One more thing you said "life is really hard, and somtimes these loops are just easy to maintain". I think the real reason people end up in ruts is because life can be too easy for an intelligent creature such as ourself. I'll bet you dollars to dimes that if you give a legit problem to someone stuck in some BS rut they will snap out of it overnight and start living life right.
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        Jul 8 2011: some of them are really eccentric, others live off there pain meds. i was speaking more for the visitors than the employees tho. same here, im almost always in a good mood, so when others are down, unless i can help or if they acept my help, its a downer. looping (pun intended) back to what i said before, becuase of these loops. i think people are less inclined to be open minded, becuase that would put a bump in that loop.
  • Jul 7 2011: Debra, thank you for sharing your point of view. Your children are clearly very successful in their fields, but do you think that they have imparted wisdom (as opposed to knowledge) to you? I'm interested in finding out whether adults value the opinions of younger generations on moral/ethical issues as well as on issues pertinent to the young people's career or field of study.