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Youth vs experience

Friday, September 07, 2012    

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There is a lot to be said about youth versus experience.

From my birth until present day I have been aware of this debate and I'm pretty sure that long after I'm gone the question will still be unanswered.

Don't get me wrong, thousands of answers have been offered but they are generally skewed in favour of which ever age group is responding. Take, for example, the medical field. I have sat in waiting rooms with my mom at the University Hospital of the West Indies and observed the faces of the older patients when a more mature doctor attends to them at clinic. They feel that the younger doctors, whether more qualified or not, are way too young to understand their condition.

Some are vocal with their stance while others hoping to get through quickly and be on their way usually just roll their eyes. No words were needed to establish that this 'student' is not deemed worthy.

We attend high school; graduate; go to college and the hope is that if I work really hard, in a few years I should move up the ranks and become an executive. The reality is, however, that the scope for growth is not always there and the persons at the top are usually very reluctant to exit the workforce because they still see themselves as strong contributors who need employment to maintain their lifestyle.

So the frustration grows and sometimes a little resentment, too, because with health clubs and facial rejuvenation centres being easily accessible, some CEOs will be around for a very long time.

I have grown weary of some of our politicians, though. My personal view is if you were handing out pamphlets with Norman Manley or Hugh Shearer, have no crowning achievement or made no noticeable impact on your party, you should demit office and make way for some fresher minds to take over.

If, in order to get to Parliament on a Thursday morning, you need to start the walk up Duke Street from the day before to guarantee your attendance, then may I suggest that you retire to your farm out in the country or your beach house in Miami and make room for youth.

Experience is good, but what kind of experience? It shouldn't just be that a position is filled by and old 'experienced' fogey, out of tradition, when a younger more able mind is willing and available.

In the legal system, a judge is a revered position. Usually it is reserved for persons who have a number of years in the courts, since the belief, I'm guessing, is that if you lived through the history you can better relate to it. But how realistic is it?

I happened to be in court the other day and observed the elderly judge 'bucking' even before opening statements were uttered and what was extremely funny is that every time he snored, the clerk of the courts would cough in an attempt to cover it up. He slept through the entire mention of the case and when it was almost over the clerk shouted to get his attention and he awoke and blurted out a date for trial which, the clerk had to point out quite sheepishly, happened to be a Sunday and court would not have been in session. Everybody except the people on trial found it hilarious. Some would argue that he is a great judge with a wealth of knowledge, but if he needs nap time, we really need to reconsider putting such responsibility in those frail, shaky hands.

A position should be awarded to who is capable, whether young or old. The best man or woman for the job should be promoted. Have a great weekend, folks, and remember to look after your health in your youthful days; it costs less.

Email me elvachatalot@yahoo.com and follow me on Twitter @ElvaJamaica

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