Posted on : 16-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized
Tags: pogo cartoon
Here’s another good thing about getting older, if you’ve been doing your life-work—and by life-work I mean exploring who you are, why you are here and what you can contribute to this planet–and if you’re someone who plays just as hard as you work, then there doesn’t seem to be as many walls built up around you for protection because you simply don’t need the protection. And it’s helpful not to have more walls to add on to all the other walls that people put up around—gasp—aging. I’m beginning to think that denial may not be such a bad attitude in some cases…..
Got into a very engaging conversation with a friend of mine today who I haven’t seen or spoken with since 1987. I’m very grateful that even after all this time we were able to jump in and take off. It’s a very surreal thing to see someone who you knew in your twenties when you’re now in your fifties. Since both of us never had kids, we were talking about how comfortable we are in having friends who are all kinds of ages and not feel like there is any kind of a generation gap. Still, we did have to admit that we wondered how our younger friends may perceive us some times. It’s weird to have been brought up at the tail end of the sixties when anyone over 30 was considered “the enemy”. Those of us who grew up then still have that meme implanted in our consciousness only now, as Pogo said so long ago, “we have met the enemy and he is us!” At least the friends I have in their twenties and thirties do not seem to have the same kind of prejudice that I had about people who were much older than me.
Even so, when looking for a job, selling a product or service and otherwise wanting people to pay you for your skills and experience I’m finding the importance in getting yourself in front of a person, or at least on the phone, so that you can bring any walls of prejudice tumbling down if only by perception. The professional collective of the U.S. has spent decades and billions if not trillions of dollars on research and development to sell products to the masses with the understanding and belief of focusing on the youth and not the older generations. If you study any history at all, it is certainly easy to comprehend this when you look at the Depression and Wars that The Greatest Generation endured and then the booming of babies that came like a tsunami not long after them. Now all those babies who were booming then have gotten older and many of them (us!) still like to spend money like we were taught to not so many decades ago. What I’m trying to say is to be aware that there has been a force much bigger than ourselves that was created by us and for us and now we get to step back and evaluate if it is still serving us or not.
I challenge you to be aware in every conversation you hear and have this week to notice what you are thinking about the person with whom you are having a conversation and if there are any hidden prejudices about the young or the mature that may be lurking in the shadows of your mind. Question its authority over your thoughts and beliefs. How can you help others to want to know who you are and what you have to contribute to their world?
I have seen the friend that I’ve always wanted, and that friend is me….