“Youth can not know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty if they forget what it is to be young.”

Albus Dumbledore

Life’s theater presents two acts: “Youth” and “Age.” Both offer roles that need mastering, lines that need delivery. Both vital, both illuminating.

Act One: “Youth.” It’s uncharted territory, each day bursting with newness. It’s like a sprinter at the start line, muscles taut, heart pounding, ready to bolt towards the unknown.

Segue to Act Two: “Age.” It’s the wise elder, the seasoned traveler. It’s the marathoner, pace steady, aware of the long road, the end game.

The chasm between these acts, it’s wide, almost an abyss. The young, perched atop the hill of immediacy, of pulsing dreams and unfettered curiosity, see the world through a different lens. The lens of Age? It’s different. It’s more like a prism, refracting the simplicity of youth into complex wisdom.

But here’s the clincher. The elders, so used to their prism, risk forgetting their original lens. They might overlook that once, they too stood atop that hill, that once, their hearts beat with the same unquenched thirst for life. This lapse? It’s not benign. It’s a chink in the armor of understanding, a clog in the artery of empathy.

To bridge this chasm, we need a footpath. A footpath paved with memory, where Age remembers its days of Youth. For in that memory is the key to empathy, to understanding, and ultimately, to wisdom.

As Dumbledore said, let’s remember not to forget.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.