- According to actuarial statistics, a male born in 1958 has a life expectancy of 74.5 years.
- According to updated longevity tables prior to 2020, male life expectancy is 83 years.
- According to the CDC, COVID reduced the average life span of an adult to 76.1 years.
- According to family genetics, my father and mother lived to be 85 and 91, respectively.
- According to Job 14:5, my next breath could be my last.
So, on the occasion of my 65th birthday, where does that leave me?
“3D vision” refers to the effect of our brains merging the two dimensional images from both our eyes to interpret depth, thus “seeing” in 3 dimensions: length, width, and depth.
I’d like to borrow that definition and create a new metaphor: Vision that utilizes 3 representations of time: past, present, and future.
As a newly-minted 65-year old, I want to recognize the importance of all three.
- Past is history
- Present is reality
- Future is opportunity
History – Every past success and failure in your life can be a source of information and wisdom – if you allow it to be. The wise 65 year-old has learned both from success and failure, and realizes there will be more of both. Don’t be satisfied with your successes, and don’t be dismayed by your failures. History is important: it is not a rock to weigh you down, but a bridge to build the future.
Reality – No matter what we learn from the past, it will never tell you all you need to know for the present. The wise 65 year-old is constantly gathering information from many sources about what’s going on in the here and now – because that’s where we are at. They ask others on their team, they talk with their family and friends; they look to other wise people of all ages for insight. Though formal schooling may be long in the past, it’s always important to continually be students of the people surrounding you.
Opportunity – Wise 65 year-olds should strive to see tomorrow before it arrives. They have a vision for a preferable future, they understand what it will take to get there, they know who they will need to become in order to be successful, and they recognize obstacles long before they become apparent to others.
Wise 65-year olds will understand the three dimensions of past, present, and future, and realize they are not an illusion, but a powerful force that will help them reach their real depth and dimension, and in doing so, help others do the same.
Therefore, as much as it is in my health, resources, and capacity, I resolve to:
- Love and serve God through the abilities He has given me (Job 42:12)
- Cherish Anita every day in a different way
- Dance with Anita at each of our nine grandchildren’s weddings
- Create a legacy for my kids and grandkids, following the legacy of my father
- Seek to become a modern elder, investing in others around me
This is the last time we were all together – Thanksgiving 2021, in Greenwich, NY
2 thoughts on “Beyond 65: How a 3D View Makes a Powerful Difference”
I love this. Happy belated birthday, my friend!
Wonderful reflection Bob! Thank you for this great perspective.
Jon Langford Founder http://www.thegatheringinc.org