Young people have always been crazy – just crazy in different ways. From pulling pranks to drinking to taking physical risks to chasing the opposite sex, we do a lot of things to toe the line.
I used to scoff more at all of the things young people do as foolish. I wanted to be more mature. And it is true – there is much to criticize about how much young people miss and waste because they aren’t focused, or aren’t disciplined, or don’t keep their word. There’s a lot young people could gain from wising up and aging up.
But then I realized how much the activities and attitude I called “foolish” was necessary for my own maturation.
To forge new friendships, to build networks, to seize career opportunities, and to find potential mates, you need the cajones which only the daredevil/devil-may-care attitude of the foolish young can provide.
This the wisdom in the “foolishness” of youth: that the crazy risk-taking is foundational to the achievement of stable, mature, adult states. If I tried to skip straight to maturity, I might not ever have the boldness to take the risks necessary to find safety.