Am I getting old?

John StromanI remember when my father-in-law was alive.  His name was John.  But he was known to us as “Grandaddy”.  He was a great man.  He was a smart man.  Better yet, he was a wise man.

I have only recently lived anywhere close to where my own father lives.  And we have lived close to my father-in-law for many years, so I have often gone to my father-in-law with questions that a young husband or father would normally take to his own father.  John was older.  John was wiser.  — I think those two things just might go hand-in-hand.

I noticed several years ago that some younger men were starting to come to me for advice from time to time.  Some of them just wanted to bounce their ideas off of someone.  It sort of just began happening over time.  I didn’t seek it out.  It just started occurring.   This is a troubling realization!

Then it hit me.  They were looking to me for advice.  They were looking to me for wisdom.

I don’t feel qualified.  And I don’t feel worthy.  Am I getting old?

I wonder how Grandaddy felt when I used to go to him for advice?

So here is the leadership principle.  Wisdom comes with age.  I don’t think that age always comes with wisdom.  I have known many folks who were not old, yet they were wise.  I have a good friend who recently offered his advice to another friend who has a son who is coming of age and entering early manhood.  His advice to my friend included the following quote.  I am not sure who originally said it.  So if you do know, leave a comment and let us know.

“Smart people learn from their own mistakes but wise people learn from the mistakes of others.
Be humble enough to become a wise man and learn all you can from others.”

My goal in life is to seek out the wise counsel of folks who have tread the same path that I am treading.  I am looking to add people to my circle of influence who have demonstrated that they have been willing to seek out someone wiser than they.

I want to be wise.  But, I also want to be a wisdom seeker.  Grandaddy is gone.  And I need to find some wiser (and probably older) men to help me.  I am thankful that my own father lives just down the road.  What about you?  Do you need someone to bounce an idea off of every once in a while?


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I am the husband of a beautiful and wonderful woman. I am the father of two of the greatest kids on the planet. I am a father-in-law to a great young woman. And I am Papa to three very special grandchildren. In my spare time I am an active blogger and writer. And if there is any time left over, I work with small non-profit organizations and churches on the topics of change management, crisis intervention and leadership development.

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