Saturday, August 21 is National Senior Citizens Day. As we were creating this special edition, our staff had spirited conversations about what to call it. Some felt the word “senior” was a put-down. Others felt it was a compliment. We never came to a consensus, except that the term senior is used quite regularly for our more experienced population. If you are a senior in high school or a senior in college, you’ve attained a certain level of schooling and people look up to that. We chose the term “Senior edition” to denote a sense of accomplishment.
And with this focus on the older adults in our community, I couldn’t help but think about the mentors in my life. Some would qualify as “seniors” while others are just a little further along in life.
I have always looked up to my father. Even as he gets up in years, I still turn to him for advice about relationship issues or how to build something — he’s always been there for me. It amazes me just how much knowledge is stored in our human brains over a lifetime.
While researching living off-grid, I noticed that many of the videos I found were made by people over 60. At times, as the skills required to live off-grid were sometimes so demanding, I’ve been surprised, but also extremely grateful to learn from their experience — in fact, every day up on the mountain, I use what I’ve learned from videos made by older adults.
At the newspaper, I also regularly listen to suggestions and advice from a staff person who is well over 60. On a professional level, as a result of her decades of working in demanding roles in the Big Apple, many of her suggestions are embedded in the fabric of this publication.
My hat’s off to those of you who have spent your lives learning, accomplishing, helping others, and mentoring. In terms of life span, I’m probably around the halfway point. But realizing just how important mentoring younger people is, beyond helping to raise my two young sons, I’m preparing to step into the role of mentor in the years to come.
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