I revisited this topic while at #njcpa16 today that focused on the theme that tomorrow’s successful CPAs must be the agents of societal change.
Robert Frost wrote:
“When I was young my teachers were the old.
I gave up fire for form till I was cold.
I suffered like a metal being cast.
I went to school to age to learn the past.
Now I am old my teachers are the young.
What can’t be molded must be cracked and sprung.
I strain at lessons fit to start a suture.
I go to school to youth to learn the future.”
I wish he had continued this poem to comment on how he ultimately coped with the difficulty of the new lessons learned. It’s a topic that I struggle with lately. Mature individuals must of course accept that today’s world is more hostile and less gentile. Most of the time it seems that we’ve lost control of the basic things that keep us alive, happy and healthy. It’s not easy to be pushed into the “cracked and sprung” stage of life at 50+ in order to maintain social and commercial relevancy in these cultural environments that I often view as distasteful. But it’s even more difficult to accept that the pace of change away from historic cultural norms is still accelerating. Sometimes it leaves me terrified to think about the future and it seems like the only comfort comes purely from faith. But then I remember the generation of the 1960s who started as non-conformists but wound up as productive and ‘normal’ as the great generation before them. Maybe it will all work out again but I’m not so sure the science is in our favor this time.