Buddy, What Can it Hurt to Listen?

Loved reading this new guest post by Ruddy Adam. Enjoy loving it too!

I believe in listening to our elders. I have always liked older people. Most of my friends have been older than I am. Still are. They have all helped me in the past, and are still doing so. I try my best to return that help — in kind: quid pro quo, something for something. That’s the only way to have good, long-lasting relationships. You do for me. I do for you. I do for you. You do for me. If either side of that proposition breaks down, then one person is using the other, and the relationship will eventually fall apart — far more often than not with bad feelings among the relations.

One of the many things I learned from my second golfing mentor, Mr. Chan, when I was 14 was this: “Always listen to a serious kibitzer.” The story of how that came about is long. Suffice it to say that it was one of the more humbling things that ever happened to me. It hung deep in me like a razor hook for years. That made it one of the best things that ever happened to me.

My dear friend, the Manager, learned that one on his own. That in itself speaks to his super-keen observational skills. I myself — arrogant, precocious little turd that I was — sloughed off the kibitzer who often whispered in Chan’s ear while I was playing. I had to get the hell whacked out of me before I woke up. Then, even, I slumbered on for a day or two, miserable and forlorn, just as you would expect the know-it-all, bratty asshole that I was to do.

The Manager, on the other hand, never had (and still does not have) the ego problem. Possessing only the low end of that brutal beast (the Male Ego) that resides to some degree in all males and the fact that he listens and observes made him (in every respect) who he is today: a great friend and a great person.

In a second, my wife boldly tells all our old friends, “Look, I love you — but the Manager is my baby.” And rightly so, he came through for her at what was the worst time of her adult life. Hell for both of us, in fact. He was there, first, because that’s his nature. We’ve never forgotten it. You just don’t find many like him, in many different ways. God bless him — always.

Chan was 12-years older than my parents. He was indeed wise himself. “Nobody’s fool,” as my dad used to say about him. “You won’t go wrong listening to him.” I took dad’s words as absolutes. Not only because he didn’t often make those kind of remarks — but because Chan showed in his life, thinking, and actions what he could do. He never bothered to tell you what he could do. He showed you, because he had already done them. They were there resting beautifully in plenty of fresh sunlight for you to see.

A kibitzer is someone who doesn’t take part, just watches. We often call them rail birds, or sweaters. I totally dismissed them until that little event. I haven’t since. Just because someone sits around watching sports (or whatever) and doesn’t (and possibly never has been able to) play those sports doesn’t mean they can’t think for themselves and that their observations are not worth a listen. As the Manager says, Buddy, what can it hurt to listen?

That information — and much more of the like — came from Mr. Chan. I — and the Manager — since we learned to respect and listen to serious kibitzers (and our elders) have done so over and over. Blowhards — not! Serious, independent-thinking observers — yes! People who can show you — not the ones who want to tell you, bragging about what they can do, yet have not done.

Below (follow the link) is information about living a long life from those who came ahead of us. They are 100 or over. Some of it’s a little trite. Some certainly wistful. Some of it goes against what a lot of us believe. It’s fun. It’s interesting. It’s stuff that we might benefit from. I like it anyway, because it comes from the Old Heads — Still Standing!

All classical philosophy and the Bible: Go to the successful gray hairs for wisdom. (The Prophet Joel ordered our people to hand their spiritual wisdom down to their offspring. I’m not sure we’ve followed those instructions very well.)

I suppose if we had to pick a few points that stand out, maybe not perfect commonalities, but the standouts, it would be to stay active and be sociable: move about, entertain, socialize, talk, laugh, enjoy others — and, we might add, always help friends when you possibly can. Others, almost universal ones among the healthy 90-year-olds and up that we’ve interviewed and know, are these: Think Positive! Be Positive! Be spiritual! Have faith! These match a few of the things we learned studying the brain.

I would say that, out of the people we’ve interviewed and talked to, having faith in God and being positive are the two they are most adamant about. Being active is next.

Ruddy Adam



Rush here for the pearls:100 Pieces of Advice from 100-Year-Olds

2 thoughts on “Buddy, What Can it Hurt to Listen?

Leave a Reply to Doris Dawn Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.