Par oozing the forums on a sea faring site I stumbled upon a thread, quite lengthy I might add, talking about age in the maritime industry.
"When is a captain too old to be navigating a commercial boat?"
The opinions rolled in. While no one listed a specific age, the consensus was that technology drove the evolution of the sea captains longevity. As I imagined seniors behind the wheel of a car, the irrelevance to attempt to connect the two fizzled. Technology has taken over on the bridge of a ship forcing most senior captains overboard. The younger generations popping into their chairs controlling the lights, bells and whistles of the room.
Bitching complaints appeared on the page from those who held firm to their "old" way of doing things refusing to be forced into working all these "gadgets". Our world changes everyday with or without our consent. If our ego chooses to hang tight, then there it shall hang. One never has to let go of the "old" ways of doing anything. The key is always adding to our existing knowledge. It feels great to stand next to a younger generation that never got to learn what we experienced. The teacher must always be wiser than his student. Knowing the old ways and the new make you invaluable! Someone has to teach the newbies the old ways. If they don't want to learn, then they are no different than those who don't want to learn the new ways. A real stand-off of ego...
It's important to understand life constantly changes. Technology will move in. If there is anything we should realize as we've gotten older is to look back and see how much has changed since we've been alive. How much will change from now on? How far out of touch do you want to be? It sucks to find yourself 90 having no clue of the future you live in.
We get stuck in our comfort zones. Remember how good it felt as a kid to have finally figured something out? It feels good to learn things, to get our questions answered about life. One day we fall into this comfort zone where we are satisfied with things around us and feel stressed when we have to learn a new system. Most of the time we're just tired and don't have time to figure out a damn iPod. Scientifically it is proven that keeping an active mind and learning keeps us young and lowers our chances of getting Alzheimer's.
The easiest way to avoid the stress change can result in is to change step by step along with it. Go with the flow has many meanings. Just because college ends doesn't mean we stop adding to our knowledge. Even though you may not understand what your grandchild is saying about her iPod doesn't mean your brain is not collecting information that will "click" later on.
Perhaps both sides of the sea captains need to let their ego's go and learn from each other. We have to keep up on new things in life to connect and teach the generation that is being born into what we are struggling to learn. We are all learning at the same time! The senior driver is learning to drive with 10,000 cars on the road while the teen is learning to drive. We CAN'T not learn and adapt to these things. There is no end all be all to anything. Even gravity is now a "theory". Keeping an open mind to ALL possibilities keeps learning fun and interesting, not a daunting chore. It stirs the discover process in our hearts and feeds the soul.
Ways to keep up with the flow:
1. Let your kids or younger generations show you how things work. We all love teaching. Do you remember how good it felt to show your mom how to do something?
2. Take a trip to a major electronics store. Like a museum day of new technology, ask questions.
3. Google it! The CMOS of information, modern day library of endless knowledge.
4. SOMEONE has made and actual video on YouTube about whatever you want to know.
5. Put your ego aside and ask questions. NEVER stop asking questions. If you've stopped asking questions then technology is not your problem. lol!
6. Take a class.
7. Familiarize yourself with things. There's no need to know exactly how everything works, that would be impossible, but knowing something exists is all ya need sometimes.
8. Par ooze the magazine racks at the local book store. Current things are always on the covers.
9. Trade with someone who knows what you want to learn. Guaranteed you know something they want to know.
10. The good 'ol library.