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Not the Person We Used to Be

In some cultures, the older we are the more revered we are to society.  The idea is that the experience collected from many years of living are valuable to the group, consequently, we may find a master carpenter teaching the apprentice how to build a house, and not the other way around.  Human nature points each of us into situations where we walk away with knowledge.  Some of this knowledge is flighty and quickly forgotten and some is hefty, staying with us until we die.  The thing is most of us do not acknowledge the daily lessons we learn, probably, because we are too busy learning the new daily lessons.  However, if we sat down, and really examined our lives, we would see that we are not the person we used to be.

mahatma gandhi quoteThink about it for a minute. What have we learned since last year? Have we grown? Of course, for better or worse, we have expanded our thinking as we experience and learn things we did not know before that time. For instance, if we buy a new house and we have never owned a house before, we learn how to take care of a house. We mow the lawn, by which we had to purchase the lawn mower. We learn about lawn mowers, lawn care, and how to be safe while mowing the lawn. We did not know any of this information before the purchase of the house. Therefore, we have grown and changed.

Mahatma Gandhi, who led India peacefully out from under British rule, said, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” This wise advice rings true as many of us are actually living longer and longer.  The oldest amongst us are the keepers of skills that many of us will never know or encounter.  Grandparents can share their memories of history, cooking the perfect pot roast, how to change a tire, sewing a pair of curtains, photos of family vacations, the Beatles, or the art of playing monopoly. This library of knowledge collected through daily bouts of growing and learning renews and changes each of us.

Often, we think that our personality, our beings are static. Come on, we have all heard “You can’t change a leopard’s spots.” Literally, there is truth to that statement; however, as it relates to people, a little reflection on the past will tell us this is not true. We are constantly moving forward like swollen rivers, picking up bits of information and new sources making our minds larger and expansive. Even the couch potato, that spends every evening engrossed in the shenanigans of TV characters, modifies the brain and learns something not known before. We transform into someone new; so, that in merely a small bit of time we are not the same.

The moment we roll out of bed in the morning marks the opportunity to start a new person. It is comforting to know, that what we were last night will be very different today. Our conversion will happen by whatever knowledge we acquire and the experiences we obtain.  Therefore, we are not the person we used to be.

Copyright © Jamie Nowinski and Grandmother Wisdom/ Grandmother Musings 8/13/2016.

 

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