Today is the birthday for one of my law school mentors, a 3rd year. When I sent him a Facebook message to wish him happy birthday, I realized that he is younger than me. I then checked several of the 2nd and 3rd years who have helped me this past quarter, and I am older than almost all of them. This should not be strange at all (the median age of my school is 24, while I am 26), yet somehow I find it odd. Perhaps it is an effect of the hierarchical nature of Korean thinking that values a person commensurate to their age and defines relationships partly on differentials in chronologic existence.
Yet I take this as a learning experience to remember that just because I happened to be born 2 years before someone else does not mean that I have nothing I can learn from them. As I have said before, I can learn about life from the older Russian woman with a Master’s degree and I can learn from the 18 year old completing his GED and playing in a punk band in his spare time. The mark of maturity is humble teachability.