There are always so many thoughts tied to getting older. Besides the obvious ones of usefulness, energy, experience and discovery, are the suppositions of what you would do if you had gone a different way.
I don’t mean the maudlin ones like if you should have done “A” instead of “B”. You’ve chosen what you’ve chosen. Blah blah.
What I enjoy listening to are the career and emotional highs and lows of the next generation. How they’ve changed their world — and ours. How they do what they do. How they know what they know.
A family member is in management, something as far away from my career choices as Tibet. But I love listening to his stories. How he moves up the ladder, how he encourages those that work under him. How he works as a team member yet keeps his individuality.
I love another’s stories about how they work around and through setbacks. Illnesses, family crises, healthcare and paperwork. How they work with others to get them on their feet again. How to work with bureaucracy and the steps to keeping one aspect of one’s life while letting go of another.
These days I am more of an observer than a participant. I can take care of myself and help support those going through changes. But I can’t really guide someone else up the corporate ladder or through the intricacies of Medicaid.
I do love listening to those who can, though.
You probably know more than you admit. More than you think. And there is always someone out there who could use your encouragement. Your stories.
I don’t mean you have to give away free legal advice or pull strings to move someone ahead.
But sharing stories of how you worked through things or turned adversity into a positive experience encourages others to take charge of their lives too.
Many of us can’t see the forest for the trees. All we need is for someone to show us the path. We can find the way around and out ourselves.
I enjoy listening to these people because there is heart with their brains. They know what they want and how to get there. And their stories include the emotional beliefs behind their logic.
I have lots of heart but not as much brains. Not in the pragmatic sense. But I do believe in offering guidance when and where I can.
You can’t take your knowledge with you. So why not share it now?
You will be amazed at those who enjoy listening to you.