Tom Goodwin wrote an illuminating and provoking piece on LinkedIn entitled: Why I Miss Old People in the Workplace.
I am 65 years old and eternally grateful that I can still look forward to reading a good book but sometimes saddened that there’s hardly anyone I can discuss it with. I am grateful I can start a brand new career at this age and know I’m going to wildly succeed and not give a damn, who has what opinion about it and why. I’m grateful to be able to hang out with teenagers and see a flicker of interest bubbling between the eyebrow earrings when I tell them stories of my life. I get a charge when a head comes up from a phone to ask a question. That’s cool. But - I am this person because of who I choose to be today. We live in a brand new, homogenized, digital world of folk who have never learned the art of true discourse and conversation. A world where people react to a new President by going to bed, too sad to talk about it. A tragic and terrible thing has happened. They use words like “It’s over”. Too depressed to think of their future because they might not be one. Well, that could be true. The button might be pushed and then we’re all gone so – that’ll be that. I think, Tom, a lot of the problem today is that people don’t really know what a problem is. To them it’s not getting enough “likes” or being bullied by 140 characters. They look at tragedies over the world and just see a TV screen and David Muir – that’s even if they watch the news – with great hair giving us a very dramatic read of events, like the weather crisis on the East Coast.
I believe we need to start laughing again. Start being curious as to what we can accomplish in this super, sparkly and efficient universe - no matter our age. Start figuring out how to talk to the Millennials and Gen X’ers and all the other letters of people I can never remember. Get them talking – get them interested. It can be done. I have done it. They’re just people and they want to be inspired like we did when we were young. I still think the telephone is a remarkable piece of genius and my mother thought the Beatles were dreadful and should cut their hair.
Let’s start getting up every day and thinking about who we could talk to that we’ve been avoiding because they’re not like us. We don’t get along. They’re young and buried in their phone. They look weird and they talk a language that makes Chinese seem easy. The list is endless. Think about what we could do that’s maybe scary and ...different?
How can we see the “Funny?” and start laughing? It’s infectious and it will always bring us together. Let's go out there and make some magic happen. I try to do it every day.
Thanks again Tom – you have inspired me!!