- When you get old, never teach anyone anything, unless requested, even if you are sure you are right.
- Do not try to help unless asked for. Just be ready & available for it if possible.
- Do not give unsolicited opinion all the time.
- Don’t impose yourself on anyone on any subject.
This partial list above was sent to me by my cousin who is a retired high school teacher and I’m unsure of the author, but these four items quickly resonated with me.
You see, for the past several years, I’ve been partially guilty of not following some of this advice. But what’s old anyway? Although, I am at a stage in my life where, call it exhaustion or a new understanding of the younger versions of me, I would really like to excel at these suggestions.
I have tried the art of mentoring, which I believe the opposite of these ideas could be part of, but have come up confused and discouraged.
In my early 20’s, I began mentoring a young girl through adulthood. While she was a quick learner, she later made choices and decisions that have flabbergasted me. Then, there was another mentee who asked me to provide professional mentoring who quickly morphed into someone that became unrecognizable to me.
Now, I have always been a person anyway, that was quick to share what I’ve learned with others, both personally and professionally. These teaching opportunities were random and would occur at a patient’s bedside, on our unit’s medication room, or in our staff lounge. Personal opportunities for teaching came while I prepared a meal, baked, made travel plans, calculated our family budget, and even just out and about.
However, after seeing the above list as well as the other suggestions, I’ve felt a relief and a sense of freedom from my normal inclination. Coincidentally, just recently, I found myself offering up to a future nurse ideas to expand her knowledge and experience. She did seem interested. However, with many of my other teachable encounters, I have been met with indifference. Many of the younger up and coming crew projected an image that they already had everything they needed.
Hence, after reading the above advice, I excitedly welcomed it and embraced it and even decided I would try them. Quick update on my progress: this morning I found myself giving advice to a young lady having her first child. I quickly regretted that I had fallen prey so soon to my impulse. But wait, I’m not old YET, right?!!!! That advice is meant for OLD people, and what age is old anyway. Btw, I’m now the event planner for her baby shower!
We’ll see how much success I achieve with my above resolve, because I truly believe I feel a sense of relief just reading the list. I look forward to the creation of new possibilities in my life!
Here’s a freebie (lol): I so admire people my age and older for the wisdom they have earned after much ‘sweat and blood.’ I look forward to chatting and admiring the many I will encounter, uhh, just for my own edification and pleasure.
More to come…