The last several months I have been reminding myself that I am only months away from the big 6…0….I wish I could stop it, but it’s all part of that time in your life when you wish you had the ability to go back and make up for stupid mistakes you have made along the way. But there is one main thing that I have determined through this time of soul searching….. I don’t want to act my age!
I might raise the ire of some of my fellow “older people” but I really feel this is a good thing to consider. As we get older we tend to feel that because of all of our “life experiences”, we have most of the answers to just about any problems that our younger generation faces and we have EARNED their respect and basically, they need to listen!
Respect is not something we earn because of our age but we earn respect by respecting others and their feelings! I’ve listened to people my age share their thoughts with a younger person many times, the attitude and verbal disdain they use while communicating makes me wonder why anyone would listen to any of their thoughts!! The disrespect they show by “talking down” to them simply infuriates me!
I have been blessed to work with many young people and young married couples through the years and I have learned more life lessons from people much younger than me than I have from those my own age. I have made it a point to really listen, while they share their thoughts with me, and not mentally prepare my response to a portion of their comment, ignoring what they are saying! This has allowed me to truly understand that they just want to be heard, not immediately told why something won’t work, how foolish that is or “no way I would ever do that”! There is just a time when they want to be heard and they have no desire to hear a comment or opinion!
During his teenage years, my son Brandon told me during a conversation we were having
“…dad there’s just some things I’m gonna have to learn the hard way!”
and my first thought was “how foolish is that” but as we traveled though life together I learned, he wasn’t talking about the life changing things, he was talking about the everyday events where I often felt like I had to inject my opinions! He just needed to be his own person and find HIS way through life!
I have been honored by having young people, outside of family, set in my office and seek my advice on a potential husband or wife, marital problems, job decisions and many other life events and I have made it a point to ask questions, listen to their answers, their thoughts and their desires for that situation, THEN give the advice they were seeking. BUT, they have to be heard and they have to be respected!!
You never reach an age where you can be disrespectful, inconsiderate, closed minded or “tell it like it is” without consideration of the hurt you will cause to others. REALITY, most people don’t really want to hear your opinions unless they ask for them! If you have to start a conversation with “this may hurt your feelings, but…..”, SHUT UP because you probably going to do more harm than good!
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;” James 1:19
Bottom line, my opinion (you didn’t ask for it but you read this far so here goes), DON’T ACT YOUR AGE! Never stop learning, don’t disrespect others, make a concerted effort to LISTEN and the respect others will have for you will cause them to seek you knowledge and advice, when needed…and wanted!
I NEVER want to be offensive, I just want to be as Christlike as possible…my desire is strong, my ability is weak without His help! I am NOTHING without HIM!
Have a blessed day!