A REFLECTIVE INTERVIEW AT 30 AND OVER 60

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.” So penned, the great American poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Continuing on, Emerson wrote, “…with consistency a great soul has nothing to do.”

Have you ever thought that you are caught in the trap of consistency? I have!

To test this out I conducted a little test on myself to compare if my personal ideas and attitudes have remained consistent in the last few decades.

So, I conducted an interview with myself at two different ages. One interview is when I was 30 years old and the other at over 60.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Topic: On Raising Children

Question: How important is it for your children (or grandchildren) to become good at something while they are growing up?
Roger at 30: Extremely important. My responsibility is to help my child to grow up and be as self-confident as possible. Having them excel at something helps them achieve that. When they do something good, I feel good.
Roger today: Not too important. I prefer to see my grandchildren play and experiment. My grandchildren crack me up. They all come through their phases of development just fine, but each in unique ways. One of my grandchildren came through the crawling phase by scooting on his bottom. He never did crawl on his hands and knees. As my grandchild, I simply enjoy him no matter how he chooses to come through his different stages. That probably goes for any other stage he will go through.

Topic: Politics

Question: Which political party do you favor?
Roger at 30: Are you kidding me? The Republican Party of course! They represent traditional values and they’re working hard to get the federal government off my back.
Roger today: I’m a moderate. (Anything else?) No.

Topic: Enjoyment

Question: What do you enjoy most?
Roger at 30: I enjoy going places with my wife and children. We pack our lunch and go to museums, parks, the zoo, and the beach. I also enjoy inviting interesting people to dinner and encouraging my children to ask them questions about what our guests do in life. Dinner time is a lively time at our home. I enjoy that.
Roger today: I enjoy three things. First, I enjoy lively discussions around the dinner table with family and good friends. Next, writing every single day. There’s always something to write about. Lastly, I like hard travel. Not like back packing hard travel. I mean hard travel where my ideas are challenged by new world events and new cultures.

Topic: On Becoming Rich

Question: Is it important that you become rich?
Roger at 30: No. I’m out to change the world, not get rich
Roger today: No. I’ve already achieved a degree of wealth. I never realized how hard it was going to be to do this. I arrived at this point the hard way. I charged for my services on a daily basis. I came by it the hard way, day by day, over a number of years. I also started investing and saving on a monthly basis consistently at 40 years ago.

Topic: Marriage

Question: How important is your marriage?
Roger at 30: Important. It’s what is expected of us. Marry and raise a family. It’s part of the plan.
Roger today: I love being married. If it were to end today, I would have absolutely no interest in anything. For me marriage has been an end unto itself. As for it being part of the plan, I dropped that idea a long time ago. It’s about having each other’s back.


Topic: Happiness

Question: Are you happy?
Roger at 30: What a funny question to ask. I’m not into happiness, I’m into duty.
Roger today: Yes. And I’ve concluded that I’ve always been a pretty happy guy. Even though, when I was younger, I didn’t think happiness was worth thinking about.

Topic: On Mellowing Out

Question: Do you think you will mellow as you get older?
Roger at 30: No. I hope not. My mission is to change the world. I can’t do that with a mellow attitude.
Roger today: Yes. I have already mellowed. You have to be mellow. Life does not get simpler. You take one day at a time, one issue at a time.

Topic: Vitamins

Question: Do you believe in taking vitamins?
Roger at 30: No, there’s no research that vitamins do any good.
Roger today: Yes. There’s still not a lot of research, but where there is, I do. For example, I take an 81 mg baby aspirin, a vitamin D supplement, and a fish oil supplement and a multi-vitamin.

Topic: Exercising

Question: Do you exercise regularly?
Roger at 30: No, I’m very active raising children, and for my profession I’m on my feet several hours each day actively moving around.
Roger today: Yes. Because I am a polio survivor, unless I exercise on a daily basis, my body freezes up and it’s harder to walk. There’s irony in my life when it comes to walking. As a child I couldn’t walk. But as I learned to walk again, I chose a profession and hobbies where all I do is walk and move around. And, I consciously exercise every day. I consider I have a new profession, exercising.

Topic: Check-ups

Question: Do you go for a yearly physical?
Roger at 30: No. Oh, maybe occasionally. It’s a hassle.
Roger today: Yes. When I reached 50, I began having a yearly physical. It tipped me off to a couple of things that ended up helping me, like getting a colonoscopy.

Topic: Cancer

Question: Do you worry about getting cancer?
Roger at 30: Yes, my mother died of lymphatic cancer which possibly started in the colon. She was 58. My aunt died of colon cancer. She was 73. I sometimes feel I might die young, because of the history of cancer in my family.
Roger today: No. Especially when it comes to colon cancer. Things like colonoscopies have been a breakthrough. I’ve had three colonoscopies in the last twelve months, and have had two pre-cancerous polyps removed. Without the colonoscopies, these polyps would have progressed to a cancerous stage. Colon cancer rates are now starting to fall. We can thank colonoscopies for this. The real heroes in this are those who fought to ensure colonoscopies are covered by insurance. This occurred about 12 to 15 years ago. Again, my life is full of irony. At thirty I worried about getting cancer and dying young. I’m over sixty, and my fear of dying from colon cancer has virtually disappeared. Eventually I’ll die of something. I doubt it will be colon cancer.

Topic: On Injustice

Question: Do you believe there is Injustice in the world?
Roger at 30: Yes, but I don’t worry about it. Everything will be worked out in the eternities. God has promised that.
Roger today: Yes. As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown more concerned about injustice. I’m not as concerned about injustice being worked out in eternity, as I am about it being worked out in this life. I’m pretty clear about it. At a minimum, do no harm. From there, do good. Last, work to prevent pain and suffering.

Topic: On Differences

Question: Do you believe that there are material differences between groups of people?
Roger at 30: Yes. There is right and wrong. People who have truth on their side will grow stronger and prevail. I believe in tolerance and equality. But, I believe God will win out. I think people of faith do a better job in life than those who are secularists. My career choice was all about doing good in the world. I became a teacher of religion.
Roger today: No. When you strip culture away, people are pretty undifferentiated. We are all more alike than we are different. Humans keep each other in check. I believe that there are common desires among all people. The desire for safety and freedom are basics. I now trust secularists.

Topic: On Diet

Question: Do you believe a good diet is important to maintaining good health?
Roger at 30: No. Actually, I haven’t thought much about it. I don’t drink or smoke because my religion tells me not to. I’m not into health, I’m into obedience.
Roger today: Yes. I don’t drink, smoke or eat red meat. These are restricted for purely health reasons. It doesn’t bother me if others do. Smokers need to find places to smoke, so people aren’t exposed to secondary smoke. I drink (3) 16 ounces of bottled water a day. I put GreenTeaHP in them, so they taste good. I’ve cut out regular Coke all together.

Topic: On Anger

Question: Do you believe there are things worth getting angry over?
Roger at 30: Yes. Of course. I’ve been taught that there is a time for righteous anger.
Roger today: No. I can’t think of one time where anger has resulted in a positive outcome. There’s nothing that important to get angry about. I no longer believe in the idea of righteous anger.

Topic: Weight Control

Question: Do you believe weight control is important?
Roger at 30: No. When I married I was worried about not being heavy enough. I was 165 pounds. Now, I’m 175 pounds. And I don’t think a lot about it.
Roger today: Yes, I work at keeping my weight under control. Ten years ago my weight crept up to 214 pounds. I’ve worked over the years to keep my weight under 200 pounds. A good weight for me is between 190 and 195 pounds. About 5 years ago I got down to 185 pounds and started feeling sick.

Topic: Owning a Business

Question: What are your feelings about owning your own business?
Roger at 30: I have no interest in owning a business. I believe strongly in changing the world for the good. That’s why I’m a religion teacher. Owning a business seems frivolous.
Roger today: The best thing I ever did was start my own business at 37, and go full-time with my business by age 39. Business is very honest. The measurement of success is very exacting. You have a product. People are free to buy it or not. If they do, you have met a legitimate need. If you don’t meet that need, you go back and improve the product until it does. Because you put your own money on the line to do this, there is risk involved. This has the effect of making you feel fully alert. Nothing is taken for granted.

Topic: Political Philosophy

Question: Do you have a political philosophy?
Roger at 30: Yes. I believe in a form of socialism called the United Order. I also believe in a theocracy that favors my theology.
Roger today: Yes. Though not perfect, politically, the idea of democracy is the greatest idea yet devised by man or God. Capitalism with periodic rebalancing is liberating. I believe in safety nets for those who fall on hard times.

Conclusion

Well, what do you think?