I follow a blogger who writes about her challenges and opportunities as a 20-something in the workplace. Even though I’m not in her demographic (unless you count my 40-something as two of her 20-somethings), I generally find raw truth in her commentary.
When one of her posts popped up in my feed the other day, I noticed something.
Like me, she had taken an unintended break from blogging.
Like me, she has made major life changes in the past year.
Like me, she has taken a new job in a completely new industry.
Like me, she is discovering the truly important elements of a career.
Sure, she’s half my age and sees life through a lens unclouded by experience and tradition. She’s fighting for recognition and I’ve got a long resume. She has future and I have history.
But you know what? We’re not all that different. In fact, deep down inside, we’re pretty much the same.
We want to make a difference.
We want to love what we do and where and with whom we do it.
We want people to judge us by our abilities and accomplishments, not our age, background, or gender.
What we really want is to be relevant.
So even though her writing centers on generation gaps (I’ll see her Gen Y and raise it my Gen X), reading her commentary constantly reminds me that the only real generation gap is in our minds. People are people. Let’s stop making judgments based on the folds of our skin (I refuse to call those things around my eyes wrinkles) and focus on the folds of our brains and the chambers of our hearts. Age is irrelevant.
**Want to read her blog? Here’s the recent post that had me vigorously nodding my head in agreement: 5 Reasons Why…
And if you just delete the word “older,” you’ll find a guide to interpersonal relations, regardless of gender, HERE.
I’m going to zero in on your comment about being relevant. None of us truly know how relevant we have been in other peoples lives normally. As I approach retirement I have recently been honored by numerous people inquiring when I was going to pull the plug…..and then being humbled by them saying FE will be just another pump/motor company to them when I leave. Their comments are the second time I’ve been graced to learn what my efforts on others behalf meant to them.
The first time was 24 years ago when the community in which I owned a pump service business in NW Arkansas learned I had sold the business and was relocating back to Florida. It reduced me to violent sobbing one night sitting alone in my cleaned out shop building recounting how many of my customers had either called or troubled themselves enough to come by to confirm if the news was true and who I would recommend that would be as honest and trustworthy. OMG…….it still gets me misty eyed to know how much those people appreciated how much my love of helping them meant to me though they never fully knew why I did what I did for them evey time I could. I’m not a Bible thumper but it is my firm conviction our Lord God put us here to help each other along during our journey on earth.
I’ve been twiced blessed to understand and now profess there is not a day we take a breath we should not hope and pray an opportunity arises through which we can impact someone elses life in a positive way no matter our role in life is……that is what being relevant in the world means to me.
By the way…..my response to those inquiring about my retirement status has been just this simple. “Are you kidding? I’m not even nearly done aggravating every S.O.B. I can yet”. While I mean this, in a way, as an offhanded comical comment I also mean every word of it intensely! I believe that sufficiently agitated people might listen just enough to learn something once they calm down and think about our conversation.
Keep up the good work, Mike. I miss all you guys!