When we ask a person’s age in English, the question is “How old are you?” In Spanish, the question is “¿Cuántos años tienes?—How many years are you?” In Russian, “SkOl’ka vam let??—How many summers are you?” In Hebrew, “Ben kama ata?” or “Bat kama at?”—“How long have you been a son/daughter?”
The Torah tells a story of the meeting between the Pharaoh and Joseph’s father Jacob, during which the Pharaoh inquired about Jacob’s age.
“How many are the days of the years of your life?” Jacob answered the Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my sojourns have been a hundred and thirty years” (Genesis 47:8-9). In other words, Jacob measured his life by his daily journeys—experiences. We age every day, but we also become wiser every day as we hopefully learn from our journeys.
There is a story about two little boys playing in the sand box. The bigger boy asks his friend, “How old are you?” The other boy answers, “I do not know”. “Do you like girls?” The other boy responds, “No.” “Then you are probably three, since I am already four.”
This past January 13th, my life journey was measured to be 68 years or about 24,769 days. During my life, I’ve learned many things and I’ve had various experiences. Before becoming a mortgage broker over 31 years ago, I had ten different occupations. I’ve also had many years of schooling and have had great teachers outside of schools, starting with my parents. When I got married at age 20, I gained new teachers: my wife, her mother, and then our two daughters. I constantly learn from a variety of teachers in books I read or listen to in the car. Wisdom cannot be contained. Wise people always share their knowledge.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to read and listen to more books, but also to share with you some of the knowledge I acquire. I will start with Michael Pollan’s “Second Nature: A Gardener’s Education”, which I have just finished listening to on an audio book I borrowed from the library. Though we have a garden, I do not have time to be a gardener. I decided to listen to Michael Pollan’s book because I appreciate his wisdom. He is the best-selling author of “The Botany of Desire”, and many other books. “Second Nature reads like brilliant entertainment, but it is serious wisdom.” Wrote Simon Schama, Boston Globe.
I completely agree with him. The book gives a lot of gardening advice, which also parallels as an outlook on life and business in general. It describes in detail how to deal with weeds and the animals that try to destroy the hard gardening work by understanding that we all are part of an ecological system and success in gardening as well as in life is in trying to find the balance.
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