December 2, 2012

How many of you remember the time in your life when 50 years of age seemed very old, in fact ancient? Of course as I’ve matured, the half-century milestone becomes a time in life where we are simply seasoned, experienced, and wiser than most. This is not a time when one would be ready to say life is over, but rather life is beginning. It is exciting and impressive to see the high achieving 30 something doing extremely well and in high profile positions. However, I believe it is a true mistake to disregard and rule out the middle-aged and older believing their time has come and gone. Regardless of where you are on the continuum, keep in mind we all celebrate the blessing of accumulating years. So, for the sake of argument, I am asking that we all agree 50 is a new beginning, but here is the rub: How do we determine one’s viability of those apparently thriving at an age where others at the same age may not be as astute. Your vantage point has a huge influence on how you see this issue; even though we all try to be levelheaded and even handed in our thinking. However, I bet each of us can recall examples of where age comes up and it should, but we should not forget – knowledge is power and regardless of age, that knowledge can be acquired through studying, formal education and life experiences. History is important and if someone has lived through a time when a major event has occurred-allows for great recall, learning and an opportunity for teaching through sharing, which really shows-wisdom is priceless.

I would argue, it appears that there is a level of discrimination associated when it come to age. If you are young, you may not have enough experience but there is an automatic level of confidence from others about your potential to have longevity and be a quick study. If you are beyond retirement age with years of experience and knowledge, you could be considered high risk because of potential failing health and diminished capacity for how you mind will function. My question: How do we balance this thinking and be fair? I am sure we can all point to individuals at both extremes who are solid persons of sound mind, duly qualified and respected in their respective professions. The push for the younger thought process is great but let’s not forget the mature person could very well be at the top of their game as they have been through the trenches and should be there to cultivate the younger and should not be automatically replaced by their junior contenders. In fact, I believe it easily becomes apparent when there is a lack of experience, knowledge and wisdom, which slows down progress. The battle should not be about age but rather a battle of ideas and where does one stand on the issues of today. Let’s be interested in getting the person true to the issues important to us who is forward thinking in place, particularly when we are empowering others to make decisions for the greater good.

Perhaps now that I have crossed the threshold, I sincerely believe, knowledge is power and wisdom is priceless!