On Being Grandpa

Oh Shit!  One day you wake up and you realized you got old. I will be 70 years old in a few months. I retire in a few months. So some parting words  from someone you may or may not want to hear from.


You have one life that you know of. Enjoy it. Learn to laugh at your identity, your body, your sexulaity, your job. The best advise i ever had about the importance of my teaching was that you should assume that half your students are sitting there thinking about getting laid…. what you have to say is not important. Trust your own voice and move forward joyishly.


Learn to respect and honor every thing around you. Other people, animals, and the earth. Give back more than anyone gave you. The best advice my father gave me was the story of when he was on the governing staff of the occupation of Japan during WWII. He spoke to everyone as if they were the emperor and he was a lowly peasant. I always tried to follow a behavior of serving the best i could anyone who showed up to your door.


I wake up at 6am each morning and work until 11pm each night. Work at staying healthy, caring about the ones you love, and caring about the work you do for other people. Good relationships require work. Save a little of what you make and what you do. If nothing else it documents the pathway that you are on. My retirement is based on putting away some money every month for 40 years.


In many  ways my generation has failed you. We have known for 50 years that the earth was heading for an environmental crisis. It is here. Live simply, have less stuff, eat and live close to the earth. You may not feel the benefits of your college education until you are in your thirties. Then your income starts to rise well above those who only have a high school education. Love and careabout  everyone  around you. Learn to back off and give others their own space to express themselves in their voice. Be Kind, Be Gentle, It is true Strength.