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Older can mean ‘understanding’
Dee McLelland new

I was listening to a talk radio show the other night and the announcer was bemoaning the fact that he was getting older and set in his ways. I listened for several minutes and was trying to guess what age he was.

He kept going on and on about how TV shows weren’t the same and that many of his childhood heroes were passing away and things just didn’t seem like they would ever be like the “good old days.”

The guy was 41.

41? Hell, that doesn’t even register with me as a number when it comes behind several of my grown sons. He probably hasn’t had a mortgage for more than a few years and is probably still trying to get kids out of school, middle school at that!

How can a 41 year old even have enough memories to even bemoan anything? Certainly there are young men and women who at 41 have had life experiences that have matured them, but I found it odd that this person was so downtrodden.

At 41 you feel like you can change the world, or, at least that’s what I thought. I more than once felt my calling would be to turn things around for the better in some shape form or fashion. I guess I have in some ways in many aspects of my life and in business and I also hope that I have made a difference in some lives as well.

Of course, you never know if you have made a difference until you see things change for the better and sometimes those changes are so small you have to really look.

I had a gentleman tell me one time that it was always good to have grey hair and a few wrinkles on your face. I questioned him as to why? He followed with his explanation saying a young man shows when he’s hung over after a night on the town and an older man looks just the same.

I laughed, but as I grow older I understand that saying a little better. I also feel that as I get older I see and notice little things that I may not have at 41. I feel I have an understanding of my mortality and place in life that I didn’t have at a younger age.

The death of my mother and other close friends has been a weight on me this past year, but it has also helped me take greater stock in everyday routines and smaller things that I probably overlooked when I was younger.

I hope that as time moves forward and we all continue to age, we start taking greater stock in the things that surround us. I also believe if we do that we can come to understand that we all have a place in this world and that we can make a difference, even if it’s a small one.

One small change can lead to bigger changes and can be ones which can have an impact on the lives of those around us. I think and believe change comes from within, not from above and by that I mean we don’t need a leader to change our life, we need to change our lives from within, one at a time.

As a golfer I always have faith I can make a shot, no matter what. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t, but I take the joy in the ones that I do better than I did when I was younger because now I know just how hard those shots are to pull off.

Such is life. 

Take joy in the small things that make a difference and it can take us to bigger and better changes down the road.

If you see me, say “Hey!”

Dee McLelland is Publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News.

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