Are parents always smarter?
by Rabbi Yaacov Chaiton
Rabbi - I need some guidance. I'm already 16 with a mind of my own but my parents still seem to give me lots of advice. I know that they have my best interests in mind but who says that they know it all? I'm just wondering - are parents always smarter than their kids?
A young man once got lost in a very thick and dangerous forest. For many months he wandered through the bushy jungle trying to find his way out. One day he bumped into an old man. The young man was overjoyed; finally he had found someone who would lead him out of the forest. But when he turned to the old man, his hopes were dashed: "You're asking me how to get out of here" replied the man with a sad voice, "I myself have been lost in this jungle for many years and am still looking for a way out".
Deeply disappointed the young man turned around to leave but the old man called out to him - "I may not know how to get out of here but I've been looking for the main road for a lot longer than you have. I can still help you in your search for the main road by showing you which paths not to take in your search for a way out..."
Parents don't know it all. They too are constantly struggling to find the main road in life. What they do have is life experience. They may not always know what the absolute right way of doing things is but they have been searching for a lot longer than their children. They should be able to tell them which paths don't lead to the main road.
Our sages teach us that "No man is as wise as the man with experience". Some kids may be intellectually brighter than their parents but no child has more life-experience than his/her parents. In finding the way out of the jungle of life, it is experience that counts most.