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 firstname.lastname@example.org.