What Senior Citizens Have to Offer Young Adults Today

May 30th, 2010 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances

A funny story has been making the rounds lately, for the ump-teenth million time… it’s the one about the Old Rooster and the Young Arrogant Cock…

A chicken-farmer, concerned about the dwindling production of eggs in his coop, acquires a stud rooster. Upon being installed in the coop, the young cock (pardon the obviously intended pun), seeks out the semi-retired rooster and declares, “Beat it, you washed-up old cock! All these chickens are henceforth mine. You can just curl-up and die somewhere – preferably far away from here.”

“But surely, young man,” pleads the old cock, “surely there are too many chickens here for you to service on your own. Can I have just one or two of those hens over there?”

“Have you gone deaf as well as impotent? Absolutely not! I said they are all mine. Now, beat it!” the young cock taunted.

“In that case, can you humour and old fart like me? Let’s call it a last request.”

“OK. But make it quick.”

“I’ll race you around the coop. If you win, I’ll do as you say. But if I win, I get to keep one or two old hens for company in my old age. What do you say?”

With very little to lose, the young rooster agreed and even added, “Just to show you what big cock I am, I’ll even give you a head start. Will 15 seconds be fair?”

Without answering, the old cock shot off, hobbling along at full limping speed. Fifteen seconds later, the young stud gave chase, easily catching-up with the ageing rooster. As they turned the corner, they came into full view of the farmer who was sitting on his porch. The young stud almost caught up with the old cock when the farmer got out his shotgun. Ka-boom! The stud rooster was turned into an exploding mass of feathers, blood and flying flesh.

“Heck!” cried the farmer, “damned these gay stud roosters. That’s the third time this week…”

Morale of this story? Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill.

Now, the story that ran on NPR radio last week about how woefully unprepared today’s college graduates are for the workplace is an interesting contrast.  Many colleges and universities are finding themselves scrambling for a quick-fix course to provide assistance to their graduates as they try to find their way in the jungles of corporate America.  Young adults today tend to be living in ga-ga-land when it comes to understanding how to navigate through the workforce in this country. 

There is a message for us seniors as well as young adults in both stories.  Bringing both generations together could prove to be helpful to each of them.  Both stories suggest there is value in what the senior citizen has to offer today’s young adults.  We have a wealth of experience to share, if the young adult is willing to listen.  We have advice to offer in specific situations and with specific career issues, if the young adult is willing to ask.  And we have encouragement beyond description for the difficulties young adults will encounter as they try to find their place in the workforce.  They don’t even have to ask.  We’ll offer that just because, down really deep, we want them to succeed and be productive, and more than anything else, to be happy adults.



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