During my life, I have found myself repeatedly in situations where I have been among people older than myself while involved in work or service. This has provided me many learning experiences and it has helped me feel young to hang out with old people. You would think that as I have become one of those “older people” myself, I might have fewer of those opportunities, but once again I have found myself mingling with a wonderful group of “mature adults,” most of whom are older than I am. The majority of these people are retired and considered senior citizens. We work together in a volunteer service capacity.
As I have gotten to know some of these people, I have been somewhat surprised to learn about their “previous lives,” which include some pretty prestigious accomplishments. They have had successful businesses, careers in education, medicine, and law. Some have served in public service and community organizations. When they talk of these things however, it is in a matter of fact manner, without any bragging or desire to go into much detail. What I have found instead, is that the preferred conversations with them are about their families – their children and grandchildren. There was probably a time in their lives when their minds and conversations were centered on those worldly activities, interests and accomplishments, and perhaps it is because they are no longer immersed in those things that talk about them is not a priority. I have to wonder that if in the passing of time and approaching the end of life, the focus has shifted to the things that hold more lasting importance. Maybe for some of them however, families and faith were always were the priority.