I was born with an old soul.
While the rest of my friends were doing kid stuff I was listening to classical music and going to community concerts with my much older neighbors. I preferred staying in, reading, doing crafts and cooking to most any other activity. I enjoyed being around adults and often felt out of place with people my own age. In fact, I loved turning sixty because I finally felt my age and my soul were one in the same.
Growing up we were taught respect for authority. Respect for our elders. Respect for other people and their belongings. We were not allowed to shout over one another, call each other names or use physical force to accomplish anything. And finally, we would never, ever, consider it our place to correct or educate an adult or an elder because we assumed we knew more than they. This is why I feel like an alien in my own land.
Somewhere along the line children began ruling the world. I can remember watching parenting and education trends, thinking we are going to regret this one day. Comedians make jokes about the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality; all good comedy is based in the harsh realities of life. The fruit of raising a generation to believe that every thought that passes through their heads is brilliant has led to a generation who, without real life experience, believes themselves to be the smartest people on the planet. They are “woke” and anyone who thinks differently must be re-educated or destroyed. We, who are old, have seen this before. It sends a chill down my spine.
With each statue that is removed and book or movie removed from public consumption we move closer and closer to the kind of society that tolerates only one viewpoint. Or have we already arrived at that destination?
I am trying to deal with the feelings of being dismissed as irrelevant and uninformed. My opinions do not mesh with the loud voices of today. We are not like two pieces of velcro – different but can become one. We are friends and family, yet we are like oil and water.
So, what is an old woman to do?
I have sought God, and He has led me to the answer. I have been having thoughts of characters from old movies – the wise older person that just listens and nods as the young folks ramble on about their issue. Then, with a mere word or two they dispense the kind of gentle wisdom that only comes with age and experience. I want to be that person. The kind and loving person who listens without judging and doesn’t tell the other person what to think or do, but rather plants a seed and allows God to take over.