Which are you? A doer or a waiter?
A doer takes action. Decides what needs to be done and starts doing it, or gets out the phone book (gasp) and finds a person who can do it, or goes online and searches for the nearest location, or texts a friend and invites them to lunch and gives them a place and time, or decides the windows are dirty and picks up a rag and cleans them, or realizes he/she doesn’t know how to get to a certain place so he/she goes on Google maps and prints out the directions, or reads the instruction manual/directions/attends the class to learn how something works and how to maintain it, or cures loneliness by initiating get-togethers or just plain understands that happiness is an inside job.
A waiter waits for someone else to make the plans, to call the restaurant, to pick them up, to stand in line, to choose the movie, to go online and find concert tickets, to fix the disposal, to give them information about a subject so they don’t have to do the research, to supply directions to any new destination, to schedule the vacation, etc, etc, etc and feels life should come to them, because after all, they’ve “earned it” or they are too “old” to learn something new.
One is a pleasure to be around. One isn’t.
I”m not sure where the idea came from that at a certain age, things are just supposed to come to you. All I can say, is good luck with that. I’ve not found that to be true. If you don’t like your job, quit or change your attitude. If you hate your house, modify it or move. If you want to be up-to-date on all the latest computer software or surround sound systems with blu-ray, research it online, pick up some electronics magazines or go to a retailer and ask questions.
Older people can still learn. We aren’t idiots. And when we shrug our shoulders and say how all this gosh darn newfangled stuff is above us, we are bringing ourselves and everyone else over 50 down to a false low level.
Now if you choose not to learn, that’s your decision. But imagine when you were in third grade and your teacher gave you an assignment to go to the library and read about George Washington…and you told her “Gee, there were so many books, it just made me tired. So I just decided I couldn’t pick one. Instead, I figured you would read me one. Okay teacher?”
What do you think she would have said to you?
Learning new things is hard. Taking the initiative takes energy. But that’s what separates us from amoeba. And it’s hard enough to get the younger set to see us as equals many times, much less as wise sources of guidance and wisdom, without us throwing in the towel before we’ve even tried.
We are still in the game. We have the freedom and the ability to create an interesting and rewarding life around us.
So why wouldn’t we??
“Nothing will work unless you do.”