Fenimore Cooper: Debt Old Owe

Posted by admin on Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Meaning of James Fenimore Cooper Money Quote: saying old people owe a gift debt of advice to the young. James Fenimore Cooper said:

Advice is not a gift, but a debt that the old owe to the young Quote

“Advice is not a gift, but a debt that the old owe to the young” — James Fenimore Cooper


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This quote from James Fenimore Cooper suggests that sharing guidance and wisdom with younger generations is an obligation or “debt” that those who have more life experience owe to those just starting out. Some key points in interpreting his perspective:

  • Cooper portrays mentoring and counseling from elders as something the older population should provide to the youth, rather than a voluntary favor.
  • He implies that those who have already navigated life’s challenges have a responsibility to pass on lessons learned to help others avoid pitfalls.
  • However, advice-giving works best when invited rather than imposed, and individuals of all ages can benefit each other through respectful exchange of viewpoints.
  • A balanced interpretation acknowledges both Cooper’s stance that elders should endeavor to help the young, and the reality that relationships require ongoing mutual understanding and consent across generations.

Overall, the quote conveys Cooper’s belief that those who have lived longer should endeavor to share wisdom with the coming generations. But the best analysis also considers that respect, empathy and open discussion between all people are needed to build a just society where all feel empowered to both teach and learn throughout life.

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