Monday, April 20, 2009

Just Because You're Younger Doesn't Mean I Can't Learn Something From You

One lesson I was taught by my parents growing up was even though I possessed off the charts intelligence, in order to keep me from developing the arrogance that can sometimes accompany that level of intelligence, I was told and have observed that there's always someone on the planet who is smarter than you.

I like surrounding myself in my circle of friends with people of not only diverse backgrounds that I can have intelligent, thought provoking conversations with, but of different ages who can teach me something as well.

Sometimes those people are younger than me.

Just because I've lived longer on Planet Earth doesn't necessarily mean I'm automatically more intelligent than a twenty or thirtysomething. I have a life experience advantage on them, but if I sit down and have a conversation with a young brother or sister who has some profound insightful knowledge to impart to me, I'm in shut up and listen mode.

We must remember that the twenty and thirtysomethings grew up being immersed in information and are far more tech savvy than those of us whose first computer was a Radio Shack TRS-80.

I take time to listen to the younglings. They may have a fresh way of looking at a problem or have come up with new tactics to achieve an old goal.

If you're too busy dismissing their idea simply because the person proposing it doesn't have more birthdays under their belt, then you run the risk of driving them away and you and the cause you're championing never having the benefit of their wisdom again.

One of my goals has always been that I want to continue to grow and evolve as a person throughout my lifespan. Sometimes the people that will help you achieve that goal happen to be part of Generations X, Y and Z and not the Pepsi or Greatest Generation.

When they wish to speak to me, they'll have my undivided attention.

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