Pass it on: share your skills!

by teresalaynebennett

photo of senior woman teaching knitting to a younger woman

Passing on knitting skills

Have you paid attention to the fact that one of the happy byproducts of living is your steady and almost unnoticed accumulation of a rather impressive skill set? (Nope, not your imagination; yep, everything goes back to the Process principle.)

When my father was still alive, I marveled at his ability to fix whatever I asked him to fix around the house – and then show me how to fix it on my own. He knew just which tools, parts, and methods would work. And if they didn’t work as he intended, subconsciously, he already had Plan B and Plan C at the ready.

As I near the age he was when I did all that marveling over his skill set, I notice that I, too, can “fix” lots of things. Maybe not the same things he could repair, but I know how to do a fair amount of “stuff” that my younger self had to stumble through.

Who knows? Maybe the quiet confidence and unruffled attitudes of many seniors come from knowing they possess the knowledge and expertise to take care of most of life’s little emergencies. They’ve done it before, seen it before, succeeded before. (If they suspect they’re in over their heads, they know which professionals to call – and it doesn’t ruffle their feathers to do so.)

With enough history under your belt, you develop an extensive set of mental files that contain enough information, expertise, and methodology to get you through just about any situation. Though you may not have experienced the exact same dilemma before, you know there’s information that can be transferred to this new problem somewhere in that vast body of knowledge on your brain’s “hard drive.” Calm, cool, collected, we are. (Thought I’d throw in a little Yoda-speak. More to come.)

Cool, huh?
It gets cooler.

Social scientists say that each succeeding generation in our present world is being exposed to a significantly wider range of experiences than the preceding generation. Duh. That’s true for my Boomer generation and way more so for generations following it, including yours. We’re each accumulating a database of useful information, capable of being transferred from the original learning situation to another slightly different situation, at a far greater rate than those in the generation before us. Can you even imagine what this means when you become a senior citizen?

While it’s reassuring to have all that knowledge at your fingertips, there’s more pleasure to be had. What’s even more rewarding is enriching someone else’s life by sharing your knowledge and life skills – pay attention – when they’re requested.

Got it?
Someone asked for it?
Then share it!

Pass it on! When you see the light come on in their eyes after you’ve explained/demonstrated how something works, you get more out of the exchange than they do. When you see how your skill set has improved their:

  • spiritual life,
  • home,
  • emotional life,
  • wardrobe,
  • hard drive’s functionality,
  • marriage and family dynamics,
  • car’s gas performance,
  • fiscal stability,
  • yadda yadda yadda,

you decide what you’ve just done for them beats a whole lot of other things you could’ve done with your time. When you see what happens when you simply pass on to others what you’ve learned – the easy way or the hard way – you understand why the seniors you know, including your parents and grandparents, are so willing to help you. It’s a kick.

Pay attention:
I repeat,
passing on life’s lessons
is a kick!

Please forgive my messy exuberance, but I do love, love, love this pass-it-on concept. I hope you do, too. I also hope you feel assured that even though you may be part of a younger generation and feel you possess a smallish skill set, you still have something to pass on. It’s very likely someone younger than you does not know what you know. Don’t sell yourself short. Pay attention, and don’t sell others short either: share your skill set and accumulation of life’s lessons – generously and lavishly.

©2015, Teresa Bennett

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That Yoda was a clever guy, was he not?