Wednesday, 22 June 2011
I never thought I'd say this, but I fear that I'm already outliving my usefulness. I fear that people will stop listening to me or thinking that I have something to contribute.
Face it- you're getting older by the day. The good news is that, if you are paying attention to your life, you're also getting wiser. The bad news is that, little by little you are growing out of touch with that sector of the population that moves fast and collects information and solves problems and make decisions.
For every one's sake, don't hold on to the past. One of the best way to release your grip on it is to pay attention to someone a lot younger than you. Make a point to seek out a young person and ask questions, recruit abilities, and seek opinion.
If you find yourself in a meeting- whether it's business, prayer hall, or the local neighborhood organization- and you are part of that middle-aged or even senior-aged majority, make room for the younger member to speak up. Listen to what they say; you will learn something. You will also gain the friendship of the people who have more energy and more time left than you do.
When you listen to younger people, you offer them respect and, thus, affirmation and encouragement. Listening is a part of mentoring, but you don't have to be a mentor or have any sort of authority to listen.