Monday, 11 September 2017

Forever Young When it Comes to Education

I spent each day of last week in the company of two gentlemen who in their own quiet way, were setting a great example to all.

The first had spent his early working life as a jackaroo before moving to many years across several properties as a Farm Manager. Hard work indeed but he loved it. A recent bout of cancer has made continuing in that occupation impractical. There are more important things in life, even if it has taken a threat to life to bring this to the surface.

He is 71 years of age. Farm Management is not ideal for building a nest egg.

The second gentleman had perused a career working for various regional councils. He was a little less communicative about his precise roles but I gathered it was to do with regional tourism.

He is exhausted with his current work and admitted to not being comfortable with recent changes and seemingly meaningless additional processes. He suggested many of the changes are aimed at ensuring there is a defendable position in the event of a problem, rather than preventing the problem in the first place. An increasingly familiar story.

He is 66 years of age.  He lost most of his wealth in the Global Financial Crisis.

Both had travelled from interstate to attend a training course that required computer skills far outside what had naturally been acquired during their working lives.

In additional to the cost of travel and accommodation, both had made a considerable investment in course fees and each had purchased a new computer specifically for the training.

Both worked inspiringly hard each day, and then long in to the night reviewing the day’s content. Both were focused, positive and determined to learn.

They were also communicative, fun and engaged and our conversations during breaks covered very many topics.

There were several things about these two gentlemen that represent a great example to us all, irrespective of age.

They were both determined to “do life” rather than let “life do them.”

In both cases, circumstances were such that they had a need to re-train and they were excited about learning, developing and the next phase of their working life.

Finally, they owned their circumstances, complained not once, and never suggested they were owed a living.

I am sure they will succeed.

Impressive indeed.

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