The wisdom of youth

Being young is just one of those things. As college students, we live in a contradiction. While we grapple and ponder and worry with how to best become successful citizens, we’re characterized as horny, drunk and liberal. While most of us are old enough to vote and old enough to understand global problems, we’re seen as still too young to really do anything. Imagine for a moment that the CEO position of a Fortune 500 was handed to the brightest and most qualified candidate: a college sophomore who still had acne. Or that the true rains behind international economic planning belonged to a 22 year-old grad student with an uncanny ability toforesee market trends.But it could never happen because until you reach a certain age, this country and this culture neglect to take you seriously. So why do the American people tell us young ones to just wait until we’re older? Why are we told to stay mum and only speak when spoken to until the first gray hairs and crows feet appear?I know that I’m too much of an optimist in any young person’s ability to improve the world around him.But I also refuse to believe that age, experience and understanding automatically go hand in hand-anyone, not just a young person, understands most issues and substantial life events without experiencing them.And I think that for the most part, our generation understands worldwide issues of the economy, environment and war.This is why, regardless of politics and favorite primary candidate, young American voters should take deep offense in the stabs taken at Senator Obama regarding his “inexperience” for the Presidency.Instead, criticize his education plan. Or vote for Hillary because you just don’t like the guy. But attacks on his experience aren’t just attacks on his audacity to run for the highest elected position after just two years as a U.S. Senator, they’re attacks on the audacity of every young person attempting to effect political change.Undoubtedly, there are certain things that just require experience to some people, the Presidency remains just one of those things. However, too much experience-inside the D.C. beltway or otherwise-can soothe us into feelings of invincibility. Anyway you look at it, even years of experience don’t guard against all bad decision-making.So whether you support Clinton, Edwards, McCain, Huckabee or Mickey Mouse, don’t forget that age and world experience will never be panaceas for the disease of bad judgment. You’re never too old to make mistakes, just as you’re never too young to be right.