Minute #575: Mature Adults

The financial health of the company was in jeopardy. The young executives who drove the company daily to newer heights by creating innovative products and novel merchandising techniques were pushing for an immediate response.

“Our future viability in the marketplace demands immediate action!” was their unified cry at the board meeting called to deal with the crisis. When Mr. Brander asked for calm and patience, they demanded his ouster. Fortunately, his patient strength won out and the new approach that was adopted led to even greater profits and market share.

After the annual meeting, which ended with Mr. Brander’s optimistic forecast, his vice president said,“There was talk of your age becoming a detriment to the corporation, sir, but after today’s presentation I think all will be peaceful once again.”

“Thanks, but I must clarify that age and youth are not at issue here,” Mr. Brander replied. “A person who feels older cannot perform to full capacity. Getting older is not necessarily better.”

“Then how would you put it, sir?” the curious executive asked.

“I think you should say that one who matures gets better with age,” Mr. Brander replied. “The secret is maturity.”

One of the “nice” nomenclatures American society has created so as not to offend a class of people is the use of “mature adults” as a term to identify the “older” generation. Ohr HaChaim says that a person who matures in spiritual matters finds that rather than tiring, he becomes enthusiastic like a child playing with new toys. One who treats the Torah and its directives as a source of joy doesn’t get weaker with age; rather, the Torah gives the person strength (Bamidbar 23:20). We are commanded to see Torah as “new” every day (Rashi, Devarim 26:16).

Keep your Torah fresh and you won’t age. You’ll mature and get stronger.

One More Second: Another Thought for the Day

It might be your spouse or your kids or your roommate or your colleague, but there are people close to you who are undoubtedly deeply affected by the things you say and the words you use… You may prefer to deny your impact on others, but that is the reality. (Rabbi Yaakov Salomon, C.S.W., Something to Think About, p. 141)