Friday, September 26, 2008

I Think Like an Old Person

The older gentleman looked at me and said, "You think like me. You think like an old person."

As I sat, sharing a table with two older couples at the LS Oktoberfest last night, we spoke of many things as the sun set behind the carnival's "Ring of Fire" ride.

It didn't dawn on me until later in the evening, but the statement that he made about me is very fundamental to who I am. On one hand, "thinking like an old person" means that I'm fiscally conservative. We were specifically discussing how ludicrous it is that rookie professional players get guaranteed millions whether they ever play a single down of professional football in their lives.

On the other hand, I believe that "thinking like an old person" is core to belief that we must be patient, we must understand the importance of earning/learning and we must be responsible for our actions.

One of my greatest fears in the evolution of our culture right now is the lost concept of earning. Each day it is more evident that instant gratification is killing the concept of earning. If you want something you simply go get it. You don't earn it. Credit card companies will give anyone a card and will raise your limit twice per year. They are contributing to the death of earning. There is no reason to be patient anymore.

I remember having to wait for a song on the radio and quickly pressing play and record.

Although the time is NOW for action whenever I write as a marketer, consumers need to understand the consequences and be responsible for them. It pains me to agree with a plan that helps to bail out bad business decisions, but I believe that we do need to help some of our fellow Americans to keep their homes.

My older friend has advice for all of us, "Stop betting on the come." In other words, stop putting so much into unproven potential and risky practice.

In closing, I said that I just need to find a woman who also "thinks like an old person" and he said he had one for me, but his daughter had just gotten married. Darn it!


Anonymous said...

great post....and I totally remember sitting by the boom box for hours on end waiting to hit record...

Charity Sherwood said...

"Stop betting on the come." Now that's some interesting wisdom, not to mention a double entendre just waiting to happen! But in more positive terms, it could translate to enjoy the experience without ruining it by an intense focus on some "purported" end result. Because the ride is most of the fun.

Old souls are hard to find. But I've been lucky enough to stumble across a few handfuls in my time. The trick is whether they retain the zestful spontaneity of youth along with the wisdom of age. The perfect dichotomy I daresay.

The only thing you have to watch out for is expecting all your self-sacrifice and patience to pay off as if there were someone keeping score. I figure if I extract some tidbit of knowledge and a smile or giggle (or few) from each day, then that's all the notches I need to wake up for the next round.

And if that doesn't work, I'll pick my nose at a stoplight and shove my finger out the window at the neighbor car beside me. Hey, I like sharing. It does a body good.