One of the realizations that truly slammed me upside the head at the 21 Convention was a simple comment from one of the speakers who goes by the name Hypnotica. He made a comment about getting older and taking on the role of Elder in the Tribe.
That really gave me pause. I was one of the elder men in the room. There were probably 20 there older than me, but that was about it. I’m standing shoulder to shoulder with so many men, marching together into the fray… yet, I’m older and more experienced.
What vision do I have that the younger men do not? Where can I assist? One of the finest aspects of earning the title of Elder is the ability to help mentor younger men on the path. To be able to provide a bit of guidance, similar to what my dad gave me, or what I’m giving to my son now, allows me a chance to interact and connect on a deeper level.
The men I speak with might think I’m helping them, but in fact, it’s a two way street. They help me. They keep me motivated. They help me see areas in my own life where I’ve slacked off a bit. Where I’ve taken my foot off the gas. I think at times, I am getting way more out of these conversations than they are. I’m humbled to even be a part of it.
So, my short message here is to embrace the fact that you’ve managed to avoid a total Darwinian melt-down so far… and I repeat… so far… Anything can and will happen. Chaos is still dominant everywhere I observe. You Elder men out there, take the time to give back any and every way you can. The world needs you.
To you younger men, find your Tribal Elder and ask questions. But for the love of all that is holy, ask meaningful questions. I get it… Sometimes you just want to start a conversation with a man so you pop off the first thing in your head.
That’s okay but I will tell you in no uncertain terms, the man that walks up to me with a comment or question that he’s obviously put some effort into, gets my full attention. If he’s giving me pause to think about how I wish to reply, the value of that man’s stock goes up almost immediately.
Time is our most valuable and dwindling commodity. As Elders, the sand in our hour glass no longer appears infinite. Make it count. Give back.