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  • Jered Stewart

Mid-life Wisdom

Recently, I was asked to provide the opening remarks at an association meeting for aging service providers. I’ve heard that public speaking is often cited as a fear that is second only to the fear of death, so it certainly isn’t always easy, but I made it. Actually, it seems to get easier over time once you realize that not everyone is listening and those who are will probably forget what you said. The real key is to keep it short and sweet.

As I was reflecting upon what good words I could offer the audience, I began thinking about my place in the world. Now entering my mid 40’s and with 4 children ranging from 8 to 18, I feel like I’m right in the middle of it. The middle of everything. I’m near the middle of my career, middle age, and in the middle of raising kids. Sometimes there can be a great deal of pressure when you’re in the middle. In my contemplations (via google), I came across a column written by Eric Zorn in the Chicago Tribune about 50 things he had learned in life when he was turning 50. I really enjoyed this article and wanted to share a few of my favorite parts with you:

  1. It’s better to sing off key than not at all. (you can ask my kids about singing in the car).

  2. Promptness shows respect.

  3. You can’t avoid offending people from time to time. When you don’t mean it, apologize. When you do mean it, accept the consequences.

  4. Prejudice and bigotry is hard-wired into us. You can’t overcome it until you acknowledge it.

  5. The Golden Rule is the greatest moral truth. If you don’t believe in it, at least try to fake it.

  6. It’s not political correctness that dictates that we try not to insult others’ beliefs and identities. It’s common decency.

  7. It’s never a shame when you admit you don’t know something, and often a shame when you assume you do.

  8. Grudges are poison. The only antidote is to let them go.

  9. Be truthful or be quiet. Lies are hard to keep track of.

  10. Your education isn’t complete until you’ve learned to take a hint.

November is a good month. I want to offer a sincere thank you to all Veterans, our way of life in this country is better because of you. And Happy Thanksgiving to all. May we all be thankful for the good things in life.

“Whatever you are, be a good one.” Abraham Lincoln

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