SENIORS: OBJECTIVITY, WHAT WE BRING TO THE TABLEMay 9th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Dr Jerry Elrod's Senior Moments Blog
Seniors Demonstrate Objectivity
It may be our lot to offer one quality to the discourse with which we are steadily and exhaustively faced. Objectivity. The other day, a friend, with whom I avoid political issues and conversations, declared that “people are getting fed up.” That is, in many quarters, a true, if twisted statement. The outcome of such a declaration often tends toward the radical, the wholly disapproving stance of where things are and where they seem to be going.
Fear and anger does not engender a rational and steady approach to the overwhelming issues of our time. It feeds the rancor and deep down resentment that further aggravates the civil scene. If I shake my fist at you, I do not cultivate the environment for a reasoned and measured approach to problem solving. If /when I raise my voice and use invective to attempt to make a point, I do not contribute to an outcome in which objective differences can be deliberated.
Objectivity is like an egg. It sets in its nest until carefully brought to the fore. It must be treated with gentle respect, pointing out that with sensitivity it can be a part of the discussion in which differences are respected and outcomes may be possible. Simply to smash the egg gets us nowhere.
Separate Message From Messenger
While I may differ, and strongly, with your point of view, I do not have to denigrate you and your person because of our differences. We may share a dialog which enables us to begin to hear and even see differences in our perspective that make sense and contribute to a more reasoned outcome. To posit one or the other as evil because we see things differently, articulate them with differing words does not mean that we are by definition ”wrong” and judged inept and without merit. Nor does it for you. Unless, either side resorts to rage of words and actions and behaviors that discredit completely another, there is still room for trying to come to some point of view that may embrace the concerns of one another. Lacking that, our sense of what it means to seek to live and work out a peaceful co existence is and will be in jeopardy.
Objectivity means that our experiences may collide, but that our reason can always be a contributing asset in our exchanges. If one of us must always be right and the other always wrong, there is little, if any ground, for the satisfaction of solution to prevail.
Insight of the Elderly
Older people have and share the benefit of long earned insight. Sometimes, however, that insight may deteriorate into a stubborn rigidity that is not helpful nor serving of the common interest. When that is the case, the best role for the older person is to step aside, listen and attempt to alter his or her point of view.
When older people bring objectivity to the table, it often brings with it the moment of the “great aha” in which others are introduced to concepts that suddenly make huge sense and offer a less contentious path. That is when persons are able to see in others the qualities that have long since been identified with “states(person)ship”
That is what we crave and seek and desire right now. Bringing to the table a calming and incisive calm that allows us to be civil and calm in the face of the contrary can be the most treasured experience we may offer.