|Fifty years later...impossible!|
I received a five year diary for my twelfth birthday and remember thinking that I would be 17 years old when I finished my entries. Seventeen! I could not image being that old. And so I entered my teen years in the late 1960s.
What would I tell my younger self from my vantage point several decades later? Would I listen to advice, sound or otherwise? The voice of the moment is stronger than voices of experience in the past or future. And that present voice is usually our own. I doubt my younger self would have listened to all these words but this is what I would say.
The world will still be here in 50 years. Don’t stay awake at night worrying about the cold war or the rapture.
You cannot even imagine the changes that will happen in the next half century. Embrace change without fear. Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions but be wary of people who think they have all the answers.
Everyone has a story. Take care to listen closely without judging. Be gracious and kind to everyone. There will always be one difficult person in your life and they will help you grow and mature if you are willing to learn.
Don’t gossip or criticize others. And take great care not to become cynical, bitter or sarcastic. Don’t try to have the last word but know when to walk away from conflict. Live joyfully, peacefully and with contentment.
Most of us resist unsolicited advice. But the impact of stories, film, music and other expressions of popular culture can strongly affect the way we see the world. This song was popular in my teen years and I still have a copy of the Desiderata poem above my desk at work. One of my younger co-workers read it recently and remarked at its wisdom and beauty. She had never heard it before! So here is is to enjoy. I couldn't express advice better than this.