Thursday, December 31, 2009

You Have a Lot to Say

After education comes application. If you have been on the job for a couple years, you've learned some valuable lessons on how book knowledge applies to real life. Experience counts. I bet you can think of a few things you wished you could have told your younger self. All of us could save this next generation so much heartache and waste, if they only knew what we know now.

Which gets to the next big lesson in life, how to be heard. The bible's King Solomon spoke of the folly of wisdom at Ecclesiastes 9:14-16. In Solomon's story, the poor wise man was heeded but then forgotten. Or take this blog for example. I write, but I do not have an audience. Then again, I haven't deliberately gone out to find one.

How do I speak up? It depends on how critical my information is, isn't it? There is some pleasure in watching our children make the same (little) mistakes we did. My daughter credits my advice on driving, to look at each near miss as a lesson, as helping her become a more confident driver. She says she no longer focuses on the mistake but rather what she can learn from it. If we shared all we knew, all the time, we deprive this generation the power of life lessons learned.

When I speak up can be just as important. When an issue is shared around the boardroom table, it pays to wait until everyone has shared their part of the whole. If a conclusion or solution is offered too soon, it may be drowned in the torrent of fact sharing.

A late lesson in life I have found that it can be just as important who said it. Shockingly, not everyone has pegged me as an expert. It pays once in a while to quote an expert in the field in order to make a point.

I've blogged before about the significance of children's literature as a cultural indicator. I am guessing that my inspiration came from Dr. Sandra Williams. In my last blog about children's literature I talked about Munsch's book, "Jonathan Cleaned Up..." There's another little known book by Dr. Seuss, and his last, "You're Only Old Once!" , a satire of hospitals and the geriatric lifestyle.

I dread a future of ill health, where my time and place are not of my choosing, where patience is the final virtue as I wait in waiting rooms for intrusive tests. Reviewing her book, "Life So Far" the other day, reminded me that Betty Friedan used her considerable research and observational skills to tackle old age. Her most obvious point is to avoid ill health in the first place. Have a vital old age. Keep the mind and body limber.

Good advice.

I'll keep blogging.

In the meantime, I intend to buy a couple of children's books to help make my point.