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The Question of Youth vs Young: P.S. I Love You

15 May

What is the difference really? I love challenging subjective vs norm definitions.

Recently I found myself re-watching a movie called P.S. I Love You. A little background without spoilers, it’s basically a rom com film about a woman who loses her husband too early in life and for his last act of love he left her birthday gifts to come for after he passed that she could follow in order to help her cope with his loss.

What I find interesting is how you can watch movies so many times in life and certain things won’t hit you until you’ve reached a certain age or gone through something in life that’ll make a single statement you once brushed off seem so deep and relevant to you.

There is this scene in the movie where the female protagonist is talking to a male costar and he says:

“We’re so arrogant, aren’t we? So afraid of age, we do everything we can to prevent it. We don’t realize what a privilege it is to grow old with someone. Someone who doesn’t drive you to commit murder or doesn’t humiliate you beyond repair.”

It just so happens that this quote comes directly from the book P.S. I Love You by Cecilia Ahern. This alone brings me that aha moment because it survived the process of scripting and not only made it to the big screen, but it also made an impression on me. So, it is this very line that lit a spark in that dark corner of my mind that almost laid unoccupied.

It’s an interesting observation. So simple and yet so fleeting to some – but so deep and just hit me right in the feels. We forget sometimes how grateful we should be to live. We try so hard to fight it, ultimately wasting our time and life preventing us actually living so that we can live longer. Doesn’t that just get you right in the chest? The irony that most of our adult lives we spend trying to stay younger, look younger, when we should realize that really growing old is the best gift we can be given.

To interject but also make my point in a different way – there’s this line in this song by Adam Levine that I heard in a movie called Begin Again, but you may also get it on CD – both from the motion picture soundtrack or from Maroon 5’s album V.

“God, tell us the reason youth is wasted on the young” from “Lost Stars” by Adam Levine

Books like Cracking the Aging Code: The New Science of Growing Old – and What It Means for Staying Young by Josh Mitteldorf or The Little Book of Life Hacks: How to make Your Life Happier, Healthier, and More Beautiful by Yumi Sakugawa are available from BCCLS libraries. But doesn’t the question really stand, “What makes you young?”

We live in this world where youth and being young is basically something to worship and idolized. But we forget the value and the gratitude one should have to be able to grow old. To experience and learn.

Why is youth wasted on the young? Such an inane question but it strikes true and then sparks another question, what is youth? But aren’t we all existing and growing and developing until we aren’t anymore? Aren’t we all youth? Constantly maturing.  Watch or read P.S. I Love You and see what you think!  You can borrow it as an ebook from eLibraryNJ.  Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite book about aging or what it means to be young.

Written by:
Sherissa Salas
Adult Programming Assistant

Civility is in the Trickles Not the Waves: Books on Civility in the Workplace by Christine Porath and Richard Carlson

17 Apr

April is Workplace Conflict Awareness Month.  Recently I came across a book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work by Richard Carlson. This is a branch off of another general book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s All Small Stuff which basically spoke about how not to let little things take over your life. The motto of the “at Work” book was “simple ways to minimize stress and conflict while bringing out the best in yourself and others”. This rang true and deeper after I came across a TED Talk video with Christine Porath.

In this 15 minute video, Christine talks about incivility and how it affects people in the workplace. She goes on to talk about how lifting people up in the workplace has a better outcome of total workplace success than tearing them down. Many variations of tearing one down can also be a determining factor on how both the “tearer” and the “teared” may be affected, because disrespecting a coworker not only affect them. Therefore, it is beneficial to be civil to others as well as yourself because in the end, it will come back to you.

I find that reading can be a form of exercise and if you’re thinking of ways to exercise how to be proactive in improving yourself, you should check out Richard Carlson’s Don’t Sweat Series as well as Christine Porath’s Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace.

It’s not about doing all the right small things and doing a lot of it. It’s about being intentional in the small things that you do. Respecting your coworkers is not just about the workplace and being successful. It’s also about being civil and accomplished as a human being to the world as a whole. To your parents, your family, your kids. It’s about something bigger than being a good boss or worker. Incivility ultimately boils down to who you want to be at the end of the day.  Incivility may be subjective but all in all being civil is universal.

Aggression, insubordination, mocking, impoliteness, rudeness, shouting and being short with someone. These are more obvious forms of incivility. Ones that hurt you to the core the moment it sparks. But what are the most dangerous forms of incivility? I believe it to be true that small things matter most. That attention to detail really is key to success and failure and this holds true for workplace behavior as well.

A workplace is an environment that on average we spend 30 percent of our week. This is whole other family – a makeshift home – we have to work on revitalizing the foundation daily. It’s an important environment with important tasks and should be deemed the respect as one’s actual home is.

Written by:
Sherissa Salas
Adult Programming Assistant

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