Learn and teach

I like to see the people around me succeed.

Last week, talking to someone I consider a mentor, he said something along those lines. I realized that about myself, too.

I thought about the stories, resumes and marketing plans I have edited over the years.

I remembered a moment a few months before, when I saw a girl speak up to an adult about a kind of sexist statement, while I hid a chuckle with a cough.

I also thought about the people who had edited my stories and made them really sing.

I remembered the people who have helped me develop my opinions and thoughts through discussion and argument.

As society grows increasingly mobile and segmented into age groups, I have seen less of this learning connection, both in my life and in other people’s lives.

It’s hard to develop it if you move a lot, and it can be hard to connect with someone 50 years your senior if you speak through SnapChat and Instagram and they just switched out their rotary phone.

I think it’s an incredible loss.

So last weekend, I got some chickens: three fluffy barred rock hens.

They may not sing like the German roller canaries my grandfather used to raise. They sure don’t look like his rainbow finches. But I will use the same meticulous cage-cleaning techniques that he taught me over the decades to keep their little coop tidy.

Published in the Town & Country, September 26, 2017