I don’t celebrate my birthday, but it’s still my birthday. Getting older, at least when you reach the ripe old age of thirty-three, can lead to some serious thoughts about your life and the world around you. As such, I hope you don’t mind if I say something that’s been on my mind.
There’s a reason that the older generations are the ones who are afraid of the future. There’s a reason that the most passionate movements of the day are led by younger generations. There is a clear line that can be drawn between the age bracket that cares about strangers and the one more concerned with themselves and their own standing.
It has occurred to me that the older a person gets, the harder it can be for them to empathize. When you’re younger, you imagine the similarities between yourself and others, whether it’s someone you’ve passed on the street or someone across the country. The wider world can fill you up. But when you’re older, you’ve lived enough for your life to be full of yourself and your own experiences.
I’m getting older now, and I’ve had plenty of experiences to fill my life up.
But my pledge to myself is not to stop thinking about other people. To try my best to empathize with strangers. To embrace movements that support the common good instead of anything that will benefit me personally.
The older I get, the more I know it could be difficult to recognize what is affecting the lives of the people around me. I’m pledging to do my best to think of what helps, or hurts, them, and not just myself.
If I screw up on this, as I’m sure I will eventually, please direct me back towards this blog.