A work friend and I were discussing work stuff this afternoon and the conversation turned into a couple of personal things including my tendency to hang onto stuff. I mentioned that I want to get rid of the clutter in my house but sometimes struggle with deciding what to toss out.
He began to offer some advice with this prelude, offered in an almost embarrassing way: “I know you’re older than me so don’t take this the wrong way and please tell me if you know this already or you don’t want to hear this from me.” I said, “Please tell me; perspective is perspective.”
He and I have had conversations like this in the past and he occasionally asks me for advice relating to dealing with his aging mother. He is right to assume I’ve had that experience with that situation. We are more than twenty years apart in age but have very good insight into these matters as well as work issues. He was somewhat apologetic when suggesting advice relating to my clutter issue because someone two decades older should have most of life’s answers and my gut instinct is to think the same thing; but I knew from past conversations with him that this kind of exchange would be good for both of us. A person’s age doesn’t automatically reflect wisdom or insight or lack of either. A person’s life experiences and personality play a much bigger role in providing perspective, in my opinion. It is refreshing to be reminded of that.
His advice, by the way … “let it go. It’s only stuff.”
That’s the same kind of advice I would give someone else but it is refreshing to hear it back. It also reminds me that even if we think we have the answers, hearing the same response from someone else adds credibility and gives us a chance to gain confidence in our own perspective on things.