Nancy Reagan told a story of how President Ronald Reagan was once challenged by a college student who said it was impossible for Reagan’s generation to understand his.
“You grew up in a different world,” the student said. “Today we have television, jet planes, space travel, nuclear energy, computers. …”
Taking advantage of a pause in the student’s litany, Reagan said, “You’re right. We didn’t have those things when we were young. We invented them.”
Author and motivational speaker Charles Tremendous Jones used to talk about the same issue this way.
As you get older, you gain more experience. Each time you gain experience in new arena of life, you get a key on your key ring. That key-of-experience will open doors that were once locked to you. When you reach a ripe old age your ring is loaded with many keys of experience that can gain you entrance almost anywhere.
Those of us who have accumulated some barnacles may not have the energy to explore every door, but we do have the opportunity to explore almost any door because of wisdom that comes with experience.
Our smooth-skinned eager young friends have boundless energy to beat on every door they see, but very few experience keys that will gain them access.
So let’s combine the best of both worlds and begin an adventure. Rather than criticizing one another, imagine what could happen if we teamed up to exploit the energy and curiosity of youth and the wisdom and experience that only comes from having lived!
I am so thankful for a team of people who span the generations. Not only do they appreciate the keys that I have accumulated, but I appreciate their curiosity and spirit of adventure so much that I have given them access to those keys.
What have you learned from another generation?
What can we do to learn more?