We gather our wisdom from going to school, from the books we read, from the people we hang out with, and from the conversations we partake in. Sometimes it's simply a matter of observing, actually being willing to listen, remembering, and not taking anything for granted. A nugget of wisdom can come from anywhere; from something a stranger once said in passing, from an inspiring Internet story, from a Sunday morning church service, or from the lyrics of a song we heard on the radio while driving to work.
I've hit (and surpassed the age 50 mark), have adult children, ailing parents, a full time job, and an ever-present desire to learn and grow. Who has the right to tell you you're too old to learn something new? Just last week I signed up for my first Instagram account (theflowermom). Feel free to follow me (lol). I know a man in his 90s who still drives and is on Facebook. I occasionally read a blog written by a local elderly man who does an AMAZING job of relating and answering current questions from readers of all ages using his experience from the past. No matter how much and how fast life progresses, some things never change. There will always be core values, integrity, honesty, humbleness, and compassion. Those are things that grow and progress, but don't need to be 'new and improved'.
I am always ready and willing to admit that I am a work in progress. I can admit that when I was very young I thought ALL parents, teachers, and neighbors were old and over the hill. I thought there wasn't a single adult who could possibly understand anything that I might be going through. On the other hand I didn't have many adult figures in my life willing to mentor or guide me. I thought I had to do it all on my own. I did o.k., but looking back I sincerely wish there had been that one older person I could talk to, listen to, and learn from. Growing up in a separated family, with no aunts or uncles or cousins or grandparents in the state made it difficult to find that person. I understand that I cannot go back and change the past, and if I did then I might not be the person that I am right now.
My hope for people today (of any age) is that they would be open-minded enough to listen, to observe, to appreciate, and to reciprocate. Be willing to talk to people, but more importantly - be willing to listen. Nuggets of wisdom don't just fall from the sky, they need to be sifted through so the good ones can come to the top of the pan gleaming with hope and promise. Be appreciative of those who have been there for you and equally important ... be that one person for someone else.
Growing up, or even today, do you have that one person you can go to?