How often do you change an opinion you have carried in your head for years? Are you the type that says, at the beginning of conversation about a difficult topic “my mind is already made up.” What evidence do you need to shift? Always facts? Sometimes gut?
As an elder do you still look for interesting classes or shows or movies or street fairs to attend? Do you travel as much as health and finances allow? Do you sit by the same people at coffee every time you attend the morning group? Are there people to whom you enjoy talking because they are always doing something interesting or new–and you, do your family and friends know what you are going to say, so avoid you?
An important trait of an elder who is extra ordinary is the ability to explore, learn new things and think outside the box they have been in. Young people do it all the time, and elders should do it too. It keeps us interested in ourselves. When I get the same information, from the same sources, in the same way I want to crawl into a hole to get away from sameness. A couple of posts ago, in this blog, the discussion was fearlessness vs. comfort zone. An opinion is by definition not based on factual knowledge. Go out and get some factual knowledge about an issue and tell your friends about it. Throw in some statistics and discuss what social or economic impact they might have on your lives.
One thing that has been a joy over the years is to have friends who come from the medical, education, law and business fields. The majority of them are well-educated, if not by extra years of college, but by being curious and studious. In the middle years of my life my friends began to include real life practicing artists and my world exploded with color. They taught me how to “see” the world in different ways. One group of friend teachers is not better than another, but variety adds to the richness of your experiences and thus your opinions.
As an extraordinary elder, you have the wisdom stories to help your peers and the people who will call you ancestor.
Have an adventure this week!