Wisdom comes from experience. Usually the painful kind. I forget who it was who said experience was like a comb given to us when we’ve gone bald, but it sure is true.

You need to hurt in order to learn anything valuable. The more you hurt the more valuable the lesson. That’s the first hard thing about wisdom. It’s never fun to acquire.

The second hard thing is that wisdom is never fun to dispense either. That’s the bald part.

Whatever wisdom you acquire through your painful experiences is not for you to benefit from. It’s usually too late for you. You’ve already made the mistakes. That’s why you’re that much wiser.

So not only do you have to suffer to acquire wisdom, you don’t even get to benefit directly from it. It’s like doing 1,000 crunches a day so the guy down the street gains washboard abs… and not you.

Some people, not unreasonably, don’t feel like sharing any of their hard-earned lessons. Especially to younger people who shrug, say something nasty about dinosaurs, and move along in thoroughly blissful ignorance. Let them acquire their own wisdom the hard way. Right?

It doesn’t feel especially generous. But then, when you do try to pass along your knowledge and wisdom, it doesn’t necessarily make others wiser. It just helps them avoid the exact mistakes you made…. and make different ones instead.

So there you are, with a hair-grooming tool painfully acquired, that you have no use for and that no one seems interested in.

What’s the most painful lesson of all about wisdom? That after all this it’s still a good comb, very much worth having.