May 23, 2019
Are you in service of something or to someone?
We are all in service of something, or to somebody. Working to earn money. Volunteering to help others. Looking after our families. Dressing nicely to impress a prospective employer or new love. Looking after grandkids, or other family members or friends due to illness.
Then there are politicians, who are supposed to be in service to ‘we the people’, who elected them. They’re called ‘public servants’. Many don’t seem to understand what that means. But hey, that’s another blog!
Service is an expansive word. It covers a lot of ground and is not always embraced expansively. What do you mean, you ask?
Let’s talk about seniors and service in the public sector. I don’t know about you, but I’m not always thrilled about the service I get – or often don’t get – for the simple reason that I have white hair and am perceived as ‘old’.
Often, we get over-looked or ignored, or treated rudely. And yes, sometimes we even get patronized.
Seniors are a huge and fast-growing segment of society. We are the generation that got us all to where we are today – the young too. We were the builders of what younger generations enjoy now. We are of the generation(s) that fought horrible wars to maintain a life of freedom for those to come.
We are a generation of strength, resilience, strong values and deep beliefs. We can embrace the ‘grays’ of life because we have already endured the ‘black & white’ thinking of youth.
While seniors may often, and rightly so, expect a greater degree of respect and deference from younger generations, we need to recall what it was like to be young. And, young people today are dealing with an entirely different world than we did growing up.
Role modeling is a great way to plant the seeds of respect. I must admit that my own level of frustration gets a good workout when I am looked through instead of at and, almost run over on the sidewalk or while attempting to get through a door at the mall. Those type of incidents can sure raise one’s blood pressure!
Yet when we reflect on all those who planted seeds for us when we were young, it becomes easier to adjust to the concept of being in service to youth. They need our wisdom, even when they don’t yet realize it.
Like myself, you may have repeated something over, and over again, to your own children, despairing that they would ever get the message. Then, one day you become a grandparent and hear your words repeated back to the next generation. That is so satisfying!
Consider sowing your seeds of wisdom in service of our younger generations. Help them to create a better world for us all.