“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”
~attributed to Immanuel Kant~
Last week I left you with a question, “Do you think a twenty-something and a seventy-something share life lessons, questions, and advice?”
I sent an email to friends and neighbors asking for their answers to three specific queries:
- What do you see as the biggest LESSON you have learned to this point of your life?
- What ONE piece of ADVICE would you like to pass along to the younger generations—those who represent the future?
- As you look ahead to your future, what ONE QUESTION would you like to ask those who are older than you? (What is something you are curious about?)
Below you will find a few of the answers I received for each question. (I have just provided three responses for each category.) You will not find author analysis or scientific fact-checking. Read their words. Compare the age groups. (At this point, I have responses only from people 40 years old to 89 years old.) What differences jump out? What similarities do you notice? What conclusions can you draw? What conversations can you start?
Question 1 (LESSONS):
Wise people feel, listen, read, consider, apply, reconsider, and pivot with new data and context. They view the ability to engage in this process a strength, aligning with environments and people that allow for this evolution.
~45 Year-Old Female
Don’t take it personally. Some people are angry, troubled, depressed, etc. It has very little to do with you.
~52 Year-Old Male
Life will unfold according to natural law and human action. No vast benevolent power will come to the rescue.
Question 2 (ADVICE):
You have the power to be anyone, go any place, and do anything you want, you just have to work hard, know who you are, where you want to go, and what you want to do.
The one piece of advice I would pass on is to hold on tightly to your own personal integrity against the onslaught of outside judgments and criticisms-especially if you are an empathetic soul.
~65 Year-Old Female
As you transition into adult roles, don’t get so serious or cynical that you lose the sense of playfulness you had as a child or the idealism you had as an adolescent.
~72 Year-Old Male
Question 3 (QUESTION):
Are you where you imagined yourself to be right now?
~62 Year-Old Female
Since I’m already old (72), I’d ask those in their 80s and 90s if and how their views of life, death, and an afterlife have changed as they move closer to the end of life.
~72 Year-Old Male
Is your peace in service or faith?
~83 Year-Old Male
Please consider sending me your thoughts to each of the three questions above.
Video recommendation for the Week:
A riveting message from Denzel Washington about wisdom he found in life. “Fail forward,” he urges.
Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.
My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click here.
My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. Please, check out her blog.
And you can still order:
- Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
- Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts (all 50 episodes) can be found here.
You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®