I was having breakfast with a good friend this morning and the subject of class reunions came up. He talked about some he had attended and it got me to thinking about how my perspective on reunions and life has changed as I have gotten older. Let me share more of the story.
When I was in high school I thought that the social structure then would hold true forever. How wrong I was. The challenge with being young is that I had no respective and little wisdom because I had little experience. While I won’t go into one of those “old man rants” about being older and wiser, I will say that age and experience has certainly given me perspective about what to value and what matters in life.
My earliest high school reunions were often about who had the hottest date, the best job and the sweetest car. It seemed then that we all had something to prove and the reunion was one place to show how far we had come.
As I have gotten older I have noticed that my perspective and that of most of my high school friends has changed. We all seem to care a lot less about what we own, what we drive and what we have done. We focus a lot more on people as they are and we seem to be much less judgmental based on worldly views.
My take on this change in perspective is that most of us appear to become wiser as we get older and that allows us to accept others as they are. I once worked with a man who said that as we get older we either get wiser or get bitter. I have found this to be true, painfully true for those who turn bitter.
Life is not about the acquisition of worldly goods. For those who play the “most toys game” I find they are bitter and sad as they get old. One thing that age and wisdom have taught me is that relationships and family are two of the most important things. I am perfectly happy to sit around and talk with friends and family and really value time with my three grandchildren. I never knew that I could find so much joy in seeing three litttle ones smile, play and learn. Even more, I have enjoyed seeing my children become parents. They don’t do things just like we did, but they do a lot of things very well and they care for their families. This makes my heart full.
Wisdom is a virtue that is sometime painful to acquire, but it also helps us know what to value and what to disregard.
My prayer and hope for you is that your wisdom helps you in your journey in making choices that make you wiser and not bitter.