Utterance: “You can’t teach an old dog a new trick”

28 12 2016

There are some famous sayings that human beings attest to that somehow do not equate to the intelligence attributed to humans and that contradict every tool that has been developed attributed to being and living a successful life. One such saying is, “You cannot teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, I am a fan of dogs but am not equipped to know if each dog is the same therefore justifying the saying that old dogs cannot learn tricks.  I am though an expert on human learning and I know for a fact that this saying which has never resonated with me when uttered by humans about humans is total rubbish.  Of course if the human “old dog” does not want to learn then you cannot teach him a new trick. My apologies for the use of the pronoun him rather than him/her it is merely for the purposes of quick reference. Back to the old dog saying.  That saying has done more damage than good in many people’s lives. It is my assertion that that saying has caused many over the age of 30 to begin  and decree the “I am too old” song sung over their waking lives and implanted into their dream lives. This same saying is a Change Agent’s nightmare as usually the process of change is deferred or tweaked to accommodate the “old dogs”. This same saying gives many leaders perpetual headaches when  trying to effect changes that would leap frog their teams into creative and innovative eras. Sadly this same saying allows tyrants and despots to implement self imposed structures and laws with impunity while members of their societies breathe a sigh and whisper, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. Back in the day there was a series called, “Logan’s Run” where people were being killed off when they reached the age of 30. I was quite young in those days and I remember thinking selfishly that at least if that was the case at the time, I would not have to go on the run because I have not reached that age. At that time my world did not involve the thinking that one day I would in fact, God willing, reach the age of 30. My point, I honestly do not think the one who invented the “old dog” saying was over the age of 30 but is the very same person who carried its burden over the age of 30 and it became his mantra.  Although having said this, there are some that believe that this saying is as ludicrous as the African definition  of “youth” .img_8700

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