GROWING OLD…LEAVING A LEGACY

Dan O’Deens, March 15, 2024

I have been thinking about the ‘elderly’ these days.  The honest truth is that when you look in the mirror and realize the difference between what your mind tells you and what your body is capable of doing…you embrace that you are now ‘elderly.’

Are you ‘north’ of 60?  I have good news for you.  Your race is not finished.  Nope!  You do not get to climb into the bleachers and become a spectator.  YES…your role will change.  The NEXT Generations need you!   Not as a ‘sage on the stage’ but as a ‘guide on the side.’  Will you invest?

They say that over the years for everything we do in life, we earn 1 coin.   Unfortunately, for every ‘stupid’ thing we do in life, we lose 5.   The goal is to have coins in your pocket as you join the ‘North of 60’ tribe, and move toward those golden years.

So then…what do we do with those coins?  When we die, we cannot carry them with us into eternity.  How will we invest?  What will our legacy be?

Here is my challenge:  Let’s identify a Next Generation Leader and leverage all our influence and experience on their behalf.  Let’s say the hard things ‘for them’ so they don’t lose 5 coins!  Let’s pave the way for them. Let’s give them the mantle of leadership.  Let’s give them the platform.

That means we take a back seat.  We sit down and enjoy a slice of humble pie. We must give up our own personal preferences.   We need to become students of culture.  We must remain students of a biblical worldview.  We must assist the Next Generation in navigating both worlds.

I found this narrative written by Alicia Paz.  This describe the “north of 60 group” as well as I have seen.

“They call us “The Elders” We were born in the 40s-50s-60s. We grew up in the 50s-60s-70s. We studied in the 60s-70s-80s. We dated in the 70s-80s-90s. We got married and discovered the world in the 70s-80s-90s. We ventured into the 80s-90s.
We stabilized in the 2000s. We became wiser in 2010. And we are firmly moving beyond 2020. It seems like we live in eight different decades… TWO different centuries… TWO separate millennials…

  • We have gone from telephone with a long distance operator to video calls anywhere in the world.
  • We’ve gone from slides to YouTube, vinyl records to online music, handwritten letters to email and WhatsApp. From live game radio, to black and white television, to color television and then to 3D HD television. I went to the video store and now I watch Netflix.
  • We met the first computers, punched cards, floppy disks and now we have gigabytes and megabytes on our smartphones.
  • We wore shorts all our childhood and then trousers, oxfords, rockets, full shells and blue jeans.
  • We dodged infantile paralysis, meningitis, polio, tuberculosis, swine flu and now COVID-19. We used to ride roller skates, tricycles, bicycles, mopeds, gasoline or diesel cars and now we drive hybrids or electric cars.

Yes, we’ve been through a lot, but what a life we’ve had! They could describe us as “exemplars”, people born in that world of the fifties, who had an analog childhood and digital adulthood. We’re like “I’ve seen it all”! Our generation has literally lived and witnessed more than anyone else in all dimensions of life. It is our generation that has literally adapted to “CHANGE.”

A big round of applause to all the members of a very special generation.  You are UNIQUE!

Let’s be about Legacy Building.  The only constant in life is ‘change’.  Well…there is Jesus too!  Jesus love the ‘little children.’  He also loved the young adults.   Let’s invest well.  Who is your person?

We were created to breathe life and hope into the world.   Breathing life ‘today’ brings a beautiful future tomorrow.