When I engage with my retired clients, I am always amazed at how much wisdom comes from life’s experiences.  For us “Wisdomites”, each decade of life brings not only more wisdom, but more freedom from caring about what others think about us. 

Except for when it comes to the young adults(YA’s) in our lives. Then I think we do care sometimes..  

When I speak with YA’s, I am always energized by the excitement, freshness, and adventure they have to offer. I’m interested in how they see the world and how recent events have shaped their views. But with this energy also comes fear, as they forge into unknown waters of their careers and building their financial foundations.

We have a lot we could teach each other across these generational divides. But why does it seem so hard? 

Maybe we stop from sharing because we think our ideas will not be welcome. Maybe the YA’s are just too busy forging their own way to listen. Or we think we have been made irrelevant by technology.

Maybe, Maybe, Maybe, a word that just stops all action!

I think it would be wonderful if “Wisdomites” could share their wisdom and lessons learned with their Young Adults (YA’S). So, I would like to propose a different way to think about connecting.

What if we approached the conversation as just that: a conversation, an exchange of experiences, thoughts, and personal concerns? 

What if we focus on trying to get to know one another, versus trying to teach one another?

What if we open ourselves up to growth, just as much as we hope they would?

I think we would not only learn so much; we would also become closer and more valuable resources for each other. We would not hesitate to ask for an opinion, thought or viewpoint, because it is just an exchange, not an expectation.

I would like to invite you to think about how you might facilitate a new kind of conversation with the YA’s in your life. Here are some places to start.

  • What is the most helpful thing you have learned lately?
  • What excites you most about the future?
  • What worries you about your future?
  • If there was one problem you could solve right now, what would it be?
  • Who do you most admire and why?
  • What was/is the most challenging part of your career?
  • What was/is the most challenging part of your family life?
  • What is the most challenging part of getting older?

I am interested in how it goes and hope you will share with me. Until then, I’ll be cheering you on.