Local lifestyle columnists

Passing the knowledge from one generation to another

By From page B5 | January 18, 2014

We’re the “Been there, done that” bunch – you and I.

We together have this huge storehouse of experience that nobody sees or cares about. As a result, we have become those old folks who at times have a hard time hearing or seeing or even just getting around. Many choose to ignore what we have to offer. People don’t realize that  many  folks who have reached the “age of wisdom” have achieved success greater than what they even aspire to. They think of us more as children.

What brought this to mind is a photo  of some of older Rotarians that Cynthia Garcia circulated after  a meeting. Four of us in our                                                                                                                               80’s  were asked when we first entered tha Armed Services. Dates ranged from 1946  to 1950: Sam Tracas, an award-winning  school administrator; Ray Schoch, a retired Air Force colonel; Marjory Parker, a very successful prosecutor for the State of California, and me with a page full of  experiences in my  60-plus years of working life.

I think I had suggested to Suzanne Bragdon that we give Rotarian members a chance to dig into our experience; too many things going on. There are probably another 16  local Rotarians with something to offer younger members. I  have mentioned from time to time that sharing experiences is one of the ways  civilizations mature and flourish. If you haven’t guessed, I am also talking about you. I would be willing to bet that most of the “oldsters” who are reading this  have wished they could have given a young person advice based on their experience. I know I have. But  have been reluctant to offer. Afraid of being egotistic and presumptuous; or worse, ignored

This, as I said , isn’t just a Rotary Club thing. This is what is going on in life all around us. And the ideas don’t have to be difficult or complex.  For example, a friend of mine watched me peel a banana. The banana was a little green and the stem was giving me a hard time.

He asked me, “Why are you doing that the hard way?”

Then he went on to tell me how monkeys peel bananas. Not by tearing at the stem end; they pinch a little off the  bottom or blossom end and peel away. That’s much easier. If we can learn from the monkeys, we can certainly learn from older folks who have peeled a lot of bananas in their lives

What would you think about having an informal “Been there, done that” group get  together once a month  and have several members tell where they have been and what they have done? Invite young people and answer questions; or take questions in writing considered by the group.

It might be a good chance to pass on some knowledge that would otherwise disappear. Fun, too.

Let me know what you think. Probably a crazy idea but, we might even  record and publish some of the ideas. Who knows?

Come to think of it, this isn’t too much different from the things I have encouraged readers to do with their family members. Could be a special day at high school or  community college. And an added bonus would be to connect the generations.  Many of us don’t  know young people and unfortunately they don’t know us.  This could turn out to be something  special.

Murray Bass can be reached at 427-0744 or [email protected]


Murray Bass


Discussion | 4 comments

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  • Cute Monkey Peeling and Eating a BananaJanuary 18, 2014 - 7:10 am


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  • Monkey "Precious" peels a bananaJanuary 18, 2014 - 7:17 am


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  • The MisterJanuary 18, 2014 - 7:18 am

    Great idea, Murray. Keep in mind that old people are still people... some have wisdom and experience to share... others just keep talking with nothing to say. Typically wisdom and experience comes in a humble and modest person too polite to tell the others to shut up. People, when you find a wise and experienced person, such as Murray, please listen and learn... and don't be concerned if you have to tell others to shut up.

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  • NEIL YOUNG - Tell Me Why (with lyrics)January 18, 2014 - 8:15 am


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