I often think of questions that I wished I could ask my mom or dad now; they have been gone for decades, the decades where I became wise enough to realize how much wisdom they had, and the decades where I gained enough humility to listen more open mindedly. I remember a lot of what they shared and have come to understand through hindsight the wisdom they possessed. If only I could ask them now.
There are others I wished that I could talk to now. Converse with. Get into gnarly conversations with. Alas, those old neighbors, strangers encountered on the fishing dock, relatives and others, are gone and/or I will never see them again. If only I had asked about…
Perhaps the onus should be more on each of us to share wisdom and insights, instead of waiting to be asked. The wisdom could be a simple phrase or a long conversation. When I was 17, a customer at the grocery store that I worked out had this to share when I said that I couldn’t wait to turn 18: “Don’t be wishing your life away.” I’ll never forget it. Wisdom in the checkout line.
Wisdom is best served simply, not with ego, self-aggrandizement, or a sense of superiority. And it will not always be accepted in the moment, but it may stick in the other person’s mind like the wisdom the customer shared with me. Think of the types of things you wished you could ask today of people who were part of your yesterdays; share such things with people today.