Growing Up, We’re Told A Lot Of Things. At 57, Here Is What I Believe:

Growing Up, We’re Told A Lot Of Things. At 57, Here Is What I Believe:

From the time we’re young, we’re bombarded with messages about who we should be and what we should do. We’re told to be tough, to be independent, to be successful…particularly when it comes to men.

But somewhere along the way, we forget that we’re human beings with feelings, needs and also many failings. We forget that it’s okay to be vulnerable, to ask for help, and to make mistakes. 

In this short blog post, I’ll share my thoughts on what I feel it means to reach middle age, be human and why I believe that vulnerability is strength. I’ll also share some of the things I’ve learned along my journey in life. I hope that by sharing my thoughts, you’ll be encouraged to embrace your own humanity.

‘The Things We’ve Handed Down’

So goes the line of the Mark Cohen song. A favourite song of mine, which encapsulates the inherent beliefs that have been ingrained in us by our parents and that we also probably pass on to our own children. That’s not to also mention the genetic factor involved in who we are and how we behave.

We’re told a lot of things growing up. Some of it is true, and some of it is not. It’s hard to know what to believe, and even harder to figure out what is best for us.

On this journey, here is what I believe…

It’s important to be kind. This is one of the most important lessons we learn growing up. Being kind doesn’t mean you have to be friends with everyone, but it does mean treating others with respect.

It’s important to be honest. Again, this is something we learn early on. Honesty is always the best policy, even if it’s not easy…sometimes extremely difficult in fact!  

We’re told that we should never give up on our dreams. This one is tricky, because sometimes our dreams change. But as long as we keep working hard and pursuing our goals, anything is possible.

These are just a few of the things we’re told growing up. What do you believe?

We Are All On Our Own Journey

There is no one way to live life. We’re all on our own journey, and we all have different experiences that shape who we are.

Some of us are raised with very strict guidelines on how we should live our lives. We’re told what to believe in, what’s right and wrong, and what we should do in order to be successful.

Perhaps we’ve been brought up in a very religious family and firmly encouraged to believe in the god or religion our parents believed in. 

But as we grow up, we realize that life isn’t always so black and white and sometimes we find it’s not as simple to find only ‘good or bad’ in people and situations. We learn that there are in fact, many gray areas and that sometimes the best way to live is by following our own intuition.

Indeed as we reach middle age, we usually find that the old adage is true –  ‘the more we know, the more we realize we don’t know! We never stop learning.  

We also learn that life is full of surprises. No matter how much we plan or how hard we try, things don’t always go the way we want them to. This can be frustrating, but it can also be a positive thing. It’s through these challenges that we learn and grow the most.

In the end, it’s up to each of us to decide what our journey looks like. There is probably no single right or wrong way to live. What matters most is how we choose to live our lives – with compassion, empathy, kindness, and a willingness to learn and grow from our mistakes. 

‘Treat others the way you would like to be treated’, is probably the single most valuable lesson I have learned, personally and one that I do my best to live by (although not always successfully…sadly) 

I believe that we are all on a journey in life. We’re constantly growing and learning, and it’s important to keep an open mind.

I also believe that we should always be grateful for what we have.  Never compare yourself to others – there will always be someone better looking and richer than you… and always someone who is poorer than you! So the comparison to others is pointless

Lastly, I believe in taking risks and seize opportunities when they come our way. Life is too short to play it safe all the time! As the old saying goes, ‘we’re only coming round this way once’, so grab opportunities as they draw level with you.

Hope you enjoyed my musings on middle age. Feel free to leave any comments or thoughts below.


  • Stephen

    Stephen is now retired. He spent 25 years in community welfare and is one of the co-founders of life over 50. He has a keen interest in everything concerning this special age group.....and makes valuable contributions to the site. In his spare time, he enjoys photography, cycling and gardening. Also a keen jazz music lover!

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