One reason I enjoy teaching so much is because it’s powerfully cathartic – although I don’t express those feelings or emotions outwardly in any obvious manner it stirs quietly underneath because I know that I’m helping others accelerate their goals by giving them a heads-up on what’s to come.
I’m not interested in short-circuiting the much-needed learning process of failing or experimenting but rather helping them to see clearly a better way to process those decisions and choices that they make. In other words, I want them to make the same mistakes that I’ve experienced but learn more from them than I did.
I love teaching because I know that I’m making a difference, a difference that I will, more often than not, never see the fruits of. That keeps me humble, keeps me working hard, and keeps me delivering the very best that I can when I have the opportunity to do so.
Even though I, at times, interpret the blank stares as big “Uh, who is this guy and what did he just say?” the comments much later or private emails confirm that I did, in fact, say something halfway intelligent.
I believe it’s our job, regardless of one’s age, to invest back into others. A 30 year old mentoring late teenagers or 50 year olds. Doesn’t matter. An 16 year old mentoring a 30 year old and an 8 year old. Doesn’t matter. A 60 year old looking after people in their 40’s and 90’s. Who cares.
Age is so pointless in such a knowledge and experience-rich world. Go do it. Stop being so self-absorbed.