Oldest President, Oldest Quarterback

We are now starting to see years of hard work and focus paying off for some notable people. We just witnessed the oldest quarterback to ever take the field in a Super Bowl game win for his team and the oldest man to ever be sworn in as US president now living in the White House. We are dealing with a pandemic that sometimes gets us down, but we continue to move forward as we observe lower numbers of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. And while not a precise indicator of our entire economy, the stock market has certainly not suffered in the first months of a new administration.

I obviously love these events because I am an older guy. I have always been respectful of experience, but I have also railed against old fashioned, regressive ideas gumming up the works, no pun intended. The celebration of older age is seen on TV all the time. When a reporter honors a person who has reached 100, their standard question is, “What is your secret?” The reply is often some snappy advice, like drinking white wine at dinner or taking daily walks. Some say simply that the secret is to just keep breathing. The United Nations estimated that 316,600 centenarians worldwide were still breathing in 2012.

George Shultz, economist, diplomat and businessman, died the other day. He was 100 years old and served four presidents over the years. He certainly earned his stripes and staying around for a hundred years provided ample opportunity to make a difference. Perhaps more so than a younger, dead man could.

When I saw 43-year-old Tom Brady win the Super Bowl, I couldn’t help asking myself if 43 is old. Football is a young man’s sport, but Brady is a wonderful example of an older guy taking care of his body and mind while continuing to do the work he loves. While Brady is susceptible to injury at his age, the opposing team’s defense never got to him. Protection is more important to an older person, and one of their safeguards is knowledge about how to avoid the possibility of danger.

The Biden’s & the Brady’s

I am extremely aware of what I can and cannot do physically. As for mental acuity, I rise to the challenge of staying sharp and on top of things. Being old and retired gives me more time to read and deeply dive into various viewpoints that keep me astute. Old age becomes bad only when one holds rigid positions, outdated viewpoints or off base opinions. The world constantly changes, and a wise and experienced person like George Shultz could always pinpoint the moments of movement and change course accordingly. That’s what kept him successful and young.

I have never accepted modernity without question, but I have always remained open to new ideas, new partnerships and seeing things through the eyes of another regardless of their age. I am invigorated by learning new ways of doing things, especially when it comes to technology and culinary arts. I had no idea that spaghetti could be made from zucchini until just a few years ago.

Throughout my life I have always posed this internal question, “Why is this good for me or society?” I remain unconvinced that being a far-right conservative is good for anyone. The position seems to exist only because someone said it should. Despite pondering it quite a bit, I still have no idea what values Ted Cruz holds or, more importantly, why he is so inconsistent.

I’m sure you’ve had a birthday party or two where you looked around and thought, “Gee, I made it through another year.” Take that to the next level and think about the funeral of a 95 year old person. The church is empty because all of their friends are gone. So, I don’t focus on age as the decline of the journey. I use my acquired wisdom and knowledge to concentrate on those things currently before me. What can I do today that will make a positive difference?

I become frustrated when seeing people get mired in events that enact past mistakes. It brings a pause and makes me wonder if they are stupid. It was tried back in 1967 and it didn’t work then so why would you think it will work now? I admit to getting some satisfaction by saying I told you so to those repeating bad history. As those words tumble from my mouth, I hear the mental echo of things my parents said to me when I messed up as a kid. Yes, I have become my parents.

My mother and father never stopped learning. Even after a rather cult-like allegiance to Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, they eventually admitted that they misjudged both of those goofballs. As for me, I hope that folks who glued themselves to Donald Trump will wake up one day and realize how ill-informed they were about a man who was totally incapable of handling the responsibilities of a US president.

Native American Judge

The community hierarchy of America’s tribal nations was based on law and order. Interestingly, a group of the tribe’s oldest women were the ultimate judges of right and wrong. They not only sat in judgement, but they also decided the punishment for offenses. It was logical to Native Americans that their oldest, most experienced tribe members should execute the laws of the land.

Something great flows when younger people can learn and be motivated by giving older folks their day in the sun. I am sure Patrick Mahomes II, a 25 year old guy from Tyler, Texas, will remember what happened when he played in the 2021 Super Bowl. I have a feeling he will be motivated to work harder because of a 43 year old man named Tom Brady. Oh, to be 43 again, or maybe even 53. Hell, I’ll take 60! Okay, I’m suddenly feeling the need for my afternoon beauty nap. I’ll have more for you another day.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

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The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

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