“Wow, you’re really old school!” That’s a phrase I’ve heard a number of times in the past month or two. I started working out in a gym every day a few months ago. Not a new experience for me–there was a time I spent 6 hours a day working out. I was in great shape and I knew every aspect of the work outs each athlete did.
I’m working with a trainer now as I try to get back in overall good shape, nursing some damaged joints I’ve picked up over the years. One of the things I’ve learned is that “work out technology” has changed a lot over the years. My “old school” habits have been shown to do a lot of damage in some cases–damage I’m probably paying for now. So, I’m un-learning old ways, re-learning some things that are good, and just plain learning new ways of getting in shape without doing more damage to my body.
My trainer has paid me a great complement. He said “You do whatever I tell you to do without arguing”. I was glad to hear that, because it doesn’t make much sense to work with him if I don’t trust his judgment and training. So, I learn. But I think my “old school” attitude can be credited for this. In the “old days” we worked hard and expected discomfort–we welcomed it–knowing it would strengthen us. So, the old school wasn’t all bad.
In so many areas of life we need to be open to new things, not assuming what we’ve always done is best. At the same time we need to rely on our experience and the strength we’ve gained over time. Music, personal relations, even life in the church can all benefit from an open mind. But we can also be too open to change, allowing our strengths to be lost to “new school” thought.
I’m finding this applies in a lot of areas of my life. My years have given me a great deal of experience I am able to share with others who are either less experienced or have fewer years. On the other hand, I also find I have to continually check my thoughts, attitudes, feelings, assumptions to be sure I’m not just assuming “old school” is better.
So, old or new, I guess we need to just keep going to school.