Graduation, Part II

(Originally written July 1995)

We recently looked at how the decades quickly fly by after we graduate from high school and / or college. We looked at the seasons of life and the special focus of the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s. In this post, we conclude with an overview of the second half of our adult lives.

50’sDecade of Counsel – This is the time in life when we finally realize that we cannot change the world, but want to enjoy it anyway. We decide that we want to share our love with those around us whether they be our children, grandchildren, or friends.  These may be our best years. It is the decade of the spiritual which suddenly becomes more important than the material (“things”) or the social (“activities”) since we realize that we’re not immortal. People are open to spiritual things during a few critical windows: about age 9-10, then again at 14-15, then 19-20, then after the birth of their first child, and finally when the children leave home and we wonder what we are living for. In this decade the youngsters ask us for counsel because our gray hair marks us as survivors. We are able to “mentor” another generation.

60’sDecade of Confirmation – This is the decade that allows us to live in retirement, in good or bad health, joyous or bitter, satisfied or jealous, financially independent or bankrupt. We face life based on the value system that we established during our younger years. Some in their 60’s are broken physically, financially, or emotionally, but most are having the time of their lives. No they don’t have the physical strength, or mental challenges, or the emotional overload, but the spirit of hope is still there. The good experiences of their lives are constantly replayed in their mind as they receive confirmation of the many right choices which they made in the earlier years. Love, tenderness, wisdom, and patience flow from what was once a selfish, harsh, unlearned, and impatient youngster. Oh, how the years and experience mature us.

70’s/80’sBonus Years of Grace – The average life is to be three score and ten, or seventy years. Some live much less, like my sister who died at 39, while some live much longer, such as my grandmother Dixie who will be 100 years old in August. Many today live into their 70’s or early 80’s. But once we reach 70, then we come to realize that life is fragile and each day we must thank God for another opportunity to enjoy another day. And so we live each day as a gift from the Creator.

In conclusion, graduation is simple a door into the grand palace of life. It takes us into the decade of choices, followed by challenges, then change, then times of counsel and confirmation. What a marvelous cycle of life. We must be thankful for whatever stage in which we find ourselves, and seek to enjoy each year to the fullest. Oh, that we might live in our 40’s or our 70’s with the same enthusiasm which we had as we walked across that state many years ago.

Enjoying my decade,

Kent

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About kenthumphreys
Kent Humphreys has been a business leader for over forty years. He also served as CEO of FCCI/Christ@Work for six years and now serves as their worldwide ambassador, speaking, writing, and mentoring young leaders. He continues to be active in distribution, private equities, and real estate. Kent and his wife Davidene have written six books together. They have three children and eight grand-children.

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