“ The elders are the history and mirror of the living past. Study them to brighten your life and future.”

 ~ Ehsan Sehgal

How do you maintain perspective in your life? What’s your best way of seeing your situation from a different point of view? Why is it good to see yourself through another lens occasionally?

When you were a kid, did you sometimes wonder what the world looks like through the eyes of an adult!? The converse applies as a grown-up. How many times have you heard a variation on the theme of “If I had only known then what I know now!”

How easy it is to forget the wisdom of other generations. And what a pleasure it is when we remember!

The exchange of knowledge and insight and inspiration is a two-way street. It’s as rewarding to acknowledge the wisdom of an elder as it is gratifying for that elder to impart it to you.

So goes my thinking when I reflect upon my recent acquaintance with a neighbor named Richard. On a whim, I replied to a post on Nextdoor where he was looking for someone to re-create a missing foot on a hanging wall sculpture made of brass.

The art was a Mayan dancing figure that he had acquired on a trip to Mexico with his long deceased wife, so his intent in restoring it was purely sentimental. Although it was a relatively simple task for my skills and tooling, it took a while to locate the proper material.

Returning it to him the other day, complete, I learned that he was born in the 1930s, meaning he is well into his 80s today. Still living in the same house he bought in the 1950s in my neighborhood, but by himself with his grown children in other parts of the state.

He seemed a bit bored with his routine, so when he asked a few questions about my workshop, I invited him down for a visit. I share my space with a friend who is converting a 1948 Chrysler New Yorker into an electric vehicle, so there was plenty there to entertain him and hear his thoughts on.

It turns out he was 12 years old when that car rolled off the assembly line. Imagining him as a boy standing next to it as a brand new car was a bit of a time warp. Seeing him laugh about it gave me a glimpse of the youngster still alive inside an old man after all those years.

Folks who are a generation or more ahead of us have seen so much. Giving them the opportunity to share is a gift that gives both ways. And guess what, interesting characters with tales to tell are all around you, so open the door to their insight and give them the gift of being valued in return.

Much love till next Monday!


Mark Metz
Director of the Dance First Association
Publisher of Conscious Dancer Magazine