(Written when I was 75 years of age and teaching in the Indianapolis school system. I will soon be 84 years of age, however the same conclusions are still a truth.)
Let me explain. On July 25th I will be 75 years of age according to my social security card and any other record that is needed or required by the government to keep track of me. But that’s just a number because I’m NOW.
I think I better make this a bit clearer. Since I have almost retired, I have chosen to work with young people, and have been of late a high school sub teacher. In order to get my classes to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX I will say to the class lets talk. We can talk about anything. Ask me anything that you would not ask another teacher. Just keep it respectful. I’ll give you an honest answer to your questions, and if you would care to we can knock that question and its answers around. OK GO! Most times their questions end up with me telling them a story. Sometimes this works and sometimes it does not. Many times as the period comes near its end two or three young folks will say to me; Mr. Presslaff you have a lot of interesting stories to tell, and have met over time a lot of interesting people. Who is the most interesting and important person that you ever met?
My answer – Kids as far as time goes, we refer to the past, the present and the future, right. They agree. Now the past is a place that we can remember enjoy and learn from, right, They agree. Now is it not a truth that when the future gets here its the present, right. They agree. So if the past is gone and the future when it gets here is the present what do we have? Their answer always “Mr. Presslaff we only have the present.”
Your question to me was who is the most interesting and important person I ever met, right. They agree and say; right, but who was that person?. We have agreed that we only have Now is the right? So if we only have NOW who do you and I have NOW?. They look at one another and glance back at me. Why Mr. Presslaff we have each other. Therefor if the present is all we really have and we have each other NOW you must be the most important and interesting people that I ever met since that’s all that I have.. There is a little silence and they look at me wide eyed and say; Thanks Mr. Presslaff that’s the nicest thing that anyone has ever told me. I’ll add; and it’s a fact.
Since I have only NOW that must be how old I am.