It never ceases to amaze me what time brings: peace of mind, compassion, new perspectives. Of course, lately time is also bringing knee pain and wrinkles. If I paid attention, every day I could probably make a list of at least one thing, if not several, that time has made me aware of. As it is, I am often blindsided by small realizations that I have learned something new or changed my mind about something just because time has passed.
The passing of time and keeping my mouth shut while it passes has also taught me that perspectives vary a great deal given the age of a person. Among my younger acquaintances, I can see that their ideas of what is most important to them is directly proportional to their age. A twenty-something is becoming more and more aware of the vastness of her world; while a thirty-something is focused on the world inhabited by her small children. Given my age, I am aware of what I have learned as I have ventured through both the worlds of family and far-flung lands. I am also aware that very few others are interested in what I have learned; they are too busy learning for themselves.
Albert Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” I am a great believer in obtaining as much knowledge as possible and while much knowledge is printed in books and much knowledge can be gained by listening to one’s elders, most knowledge is discovered by doing. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…and hopefully, wiser.
I hope the perspectives I have gained will make me a better person: One who listens more and talks less. One who is tolerant and not judgmental. One who ventures and doesn’t shrink away. I also hope that I get better quickly as my time is growing short.