Several months ago my mother said something that has been lying dormant in the ‘lessons learned’ neurons until today.
We were driving along talking about a church she was a member of (at that time) and had been actively involved in for over 2 years. She said: “I feel like what I say doesn’t matter, like I’m not heard because I’m over 60.”
I remember thinking, “How sad to feel like you’re not heard.” If only I knew how truly important this lesson would become in a few months time.
Today I was reading a ‘submission guidelines’ for an e-zine I have considered submitting writing to and it had some information about targeted demographic (20 year olds) and I immediately felt like “I’m too old to be relevant.” And I heard it in my mother’s voice…
I also thought about marketing I’ve seen in the past few years that specifically spoke to and targeted 20-30 year olds. These types of things always incense me. First of all, if that is your lone target market…find out the demographic you’re delivering this information to and skip the homes of the 40, 50, 60 + year olds so we don’t waste our precious (and apparently limited) time on earth reading your unrelated information.
The second and more bothersome truth is the further division of an already severed generational gap. The more each generation tries to separate themselves and identify themselves outside the bigger picture, the less we can relate to one another and learn from one another.
I think of the way the Bible is written and the older men and women were called to teach the younger men and women. I think of the picture of a mentoring relationship and the value in this type of relationship. I think of my own recent feelings of missing leadership and discipleship, without an older woman to communicate with and learn from.
It scares me to think of the cost to our younger generations as they attempt to maneuver through life unarmed with the knowledge, and more importantly, the wisdom available by a generation 10-30 + years their senior. It scares me to think of my own misdirection without the presence of an elder leader.
I wonder if all the energy we expend trying to delineate ourselves and find what makes us different would be better spent in finding unification and using the differences to enhance the overall mosaic.
A quilt of one fabric is just a blanket. A quilt of many fabrics; old, new, colorful, drab, ripped and repaired, is a historical treasure and a real beauty!
Celebrate your elders today! Celebrate the WHOLE picture and have a glorious Wednesday!