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MEEKER | “I wasn’t born yesterday, you know.” Each time I hear someone say these words or a facsimile, I want to say, “I know, you keep telling us that!” However, I restrain myself.
These days when I hear people use such an old folksy expression that asserts the rest of us to listen, I cringe. Whatever the subject, it doesn’t do much to change anyone’s viewpoint. Gone are the days when one’s older years and extensive life experience commands much respect.
If one happens to be someone’s grandmother or grandfather, it might be more acceptable. As respect for one’s elders now seems to be confined within the family circle. During these difficult days of the pandemic, when all ages of people are struggling, some of us tend to try and use our age and life experience to get someone else to listen to us.
Each person’s reason for throwing that phrase down is tied to the conversation specifically and it almost is a defensive dialog technique. It implies that one person has taken offense at the lack of respect shown them. Forget expertise as a consideration.
Bringing up the good old days is never a good conversation starter. I disagree with those though, who insist that looking back to look forward is a futile endeavor. We can learn from the past by recognizing that the lessons learned by the generations who came before us are instructive in coming up with new solutions for serious societal problems. Making reasonable decisions based on all the information available is essential.
Listening to the radio recently, one song’s verse stuck with me. “The past is either here or close behind. It seems that time just picks up speed.” The biggest implication of those words is something many of us have been told by our elders for years. Time zips by as our years advance.
“Yesterday, all our troubles seemed so far away, “ sang the Beatles. We all sang along with them, not knowing we were acknowledging the problems with our perception of time. So maybe that old pat phrase should be dragged out of the mothballs.
I wasn’t born yesterday and neither were you.
By DOLLY VISCARDI – Special to the Herald Times