I don’t know if Don to Earth reads this, but if so I want to send him a belated 93rd happy birthday message. While I have never met Don and know him exclusively through his blog, I appreciate his mind, his wit and the clarity with which he communicates whatever is on his mind. I think he is an example of someone who is conscious and responsible for his age, but not limited by it. His claim to being nearly the world’s oldest blogger has a touch of fun and a grin rather than any sort of self-congratulatory air to it.
I was hoping to meet Don one time when I went to Halifax where I thought he lived. Turns out he was from there but now lives elsewhere. I wanted to ask him what he though of my thesis that, while we age into a culture of decline, we have a choice about who we are and how we relate to the whole process of aging. I want to listen to my elders share their experience of growing older and I want to appreciate their ground of being and how they observe the same things I am observing from a vantage point 25 years or so younger.
I realize today that most of my life I heard what older people said, but I am not sure I listened — too caught up in my own often misplaced certainty (dare I say arrogance?) that, although I’ve had a full and successful life, it has lacked so much possibility had I listened. Oh, I know the adage that we need to learn our own lessons, but I would so much like to give some of my young colleagues a bit of what I have learned as either a ‘jumpstart’ on their own journey or perhaps a shortcut to more challenging horizons. Earlier today I shared a bit of what some coaching friends and I have concluded about making the most of the second half, which boils down to ‘going for it’. Don is obviously going to keep going for it until the last day, and I find that inspiring.
Don is just a man sharing his experience and his views. Every few days as I read what he has to say, I learn a little bit more about myself and how we can all be as we age and become more and more authentic. In his blog today, he mused whether he needs to become more responsible, more self-conscious, more ‘careful’ now that so many of us read his scratchings. Don, don’t waste a minute of whatever time you have left worrying about me and what I will think. I just want to listen.