Girls, Drugs, and Rock and Roll
I think it was back in the late 60s
before I could drive, ’66 or ’67 when I was likely 12 or 13, that I helped my grandfather with his grass cutting and yard work most every weekend during the summers. He and my grandmother lived in Dayton close to town, and their rented garage where they parked their car was down the street. It was a four-bay garage building, and one warm Saturday we were getting some tools out of his bay.
As I remember his landlord showed up at the same time, and she and my grandfather got to talking. Nothing out of the ordinary, except I keep hearing words like, “What is this world coming to?” and “What’s wrong with the youth of today?”
Those snippets made a huge impression on me; after all, I’m a young teenager (That alone clears me of any fault…), it’s the late sixties, and I’m thinking to myself, “Man, it looks pretty cool from where I’m standing.” (Okay, I wasn’t that articulate, but you get my drift.) I’m really thinking girls, drugs, rock and roll, and everything else that a pre-pubescent high school young fellow might be musing. Things are sweet.
Now, this article could go into at least three different directions. First is the notion that I was never going to grow up and be like THEM! They were much “older” and certainly did not understand the thought process of a teenager, no matter how fraught with peril that thought process could be. I could still be right and for most of the time perfectly bulletproof, and they just didn’t understand.
Secondly is the idea that there are tremendous graces in the fact that we only grow to something typically less than a century of years. Wikipedia claims that Abraham was 213 years old, and for the life of me I can’t even muster a thought that being that old could still mean I was of service to others, let alone being of service to myself.
Finally is the idea that though comments were said and assumptions made, we really did not understand each other. We did not have an appreciative understanding from where the other person was coming.
And since I am nearly as old as my grandfather was at the time, I have to put myself in his shoes and pretend that I am talking to my 9 year old grandson, Alex, to figure out my intention with that conversation.
What does the world look like from his point of view?
What are his fears?
What are his hopes?
Likely, it’s not girls, drugs, and rock and roll, but it might be girls (Okay, maybe not yet at the age of nine.) electronics, and digital streaming.
To gain an appreciative understanding?
We have to ask questions;
We have to listen;
We have to put aside ingrained assumptions; (And we make them all the time, rightly or wrongly.)
We have to reply back in our own words with what we are hearing; and
We have to ask if our interpretation of the other’s intention is correct.
Then we might have a better idea as to what the world might be coming to or gain an insight into the impressive attributes of today’s youth.
And even though I grew up to be much like my grandfather, and that Abraham is going to win in the age game, I am glad to know that I can ask one more question, so that you and I can have a better understanding of each other.
At THE HABER GROUP we help clients embrace the behaviors that create great leaders by helping them be better thinkers. We know what gets in the way. Give us a call at 513-368-7203. We would love to talk.