While I hate to admit it - my Dad
was right. Daily I'm reminded of
the fact that my parents repeatedly
told me everything that I needed
to know. My issue is that I refused
to listen or absorb any of that vital
data. Instead I found it necessary to
hit my head against a wall at least a
thousand times prior to embracing
the fact that said action hurt. In truth
it could have been easier if I'd just
listened to my Mom and Dad. But
instead I had to learn the hard way
The good news is that I'm not alone.
Most of us spend a lifetime figuring
things out. If I'm certain of one thing
it's that obstinance must a key element
in my DNA. Natural instincts drive
our growth process. Leaving each of
us to figure ourselves out. Hence with
age naturally comes illumination. And
the older we get, the smarter we grow
and so on... etc. Yet within our culture
of youth few acknowledge the value
of élan, knowledge, and experience.
And what a waste of time is that?!
Historically most cultures respected
and venerated their elders. Yet why
is it that the majority of Americans
consider those of advanced vintage
a nuisance rather than a treasured
resource? Knowledge is power and
I'm certain that the majority of us
old folks already have the solution
long before those "kids" even have
a chance to gather their thoughts.
The problem is we make it look all
too easy. Hence it's easy to not place
value on our intellectual property.
The clock is ticking
The fact is that within corporate
America age discrimination is
rampant. "Succession Planning"
in theory prepares for the future.
Given that a hidden retirement
clock is ticking... most assume
that come age sixty five, you're
out of there. Therefore it makes
sense to line up a replacement.
At issue is that said "back up"
usually wants your job NOW.
And if they don't get it, they're
ready to move on immediately!
As we age, we certainly don't look
like the dainty dew drops we once
were. In a culture where looks are
everything, the extra padding that
seems to come with advanced age
subtly sends a message. While most
of us do our best to battle gravity,
our lack of loss is another's gain.
One's doughy demeanor may send
the message that you care for little
but donuts. Meanwhile I'll bet that
some slim young thing is plotting
to set fat cats like me up for failure.
Within such a youth oriented culture
of excellence, many prefer ingenues
to seasoned professionals. There's
little doubt that we oldies can still
dance circles around said newbies.
But at this point many of us simply
opt to not fight for what is rightfully
ours. Having already been around
the block- we'd rather pull over and
let the kids pass. Speeding just gets
you there faster. So why not enjoy
the ride, see the sights, and maybe
make some friends along the way?
I guess what I'm saying is that we may
have done this to ourselves. Having
graduated from the school of hard
knocks few of us have the need or
desire for much more than happiness.
After one has put life in perspective,
suddenly one's career path becomes
solely a means to an end. So while
it's innately unfair that naive energy
and bravado are considered better
than experience, calm and resolve...
so be it. Youth is wasted on the young
and at this point that's fine with me.