Life: Editorial – Learning Through Living

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I’m old enough now that I spend much of my time thinking about how old I’m getting. It’s a life stage I never used to think about. Most of us are so caught up in living day-to-day that we don’t spend much time planning and looking ahead.

As a young man, I settled for a career without great growth potential – in an industry that was shrinking rather than growing. That poor early choice forced me to start my career all over again in my mid-30s, and then I had to change careers yet again when I moved to Toronto in my 40s, because, like most of you, I left my old network behind.

Each stage in our lives has much to teach us. A well known adage in North American society is “Youth is wasted on the young”. All that really means is that if we knew then (in our 20s) what we learn as we get older, we would be “in the driver’s seat”. We would steer a wise course through the highways and byways of life, taking risks when we have the strength and stamina to learn and grow from them, being ambitious when we have the energy to devote to chasing our goals, and avoiding many of the mistakes that slow us down or send our lives off-course.

Sadly, we don’t get to do a dress rehearsal for our lives.

So the best thing to do is to share what we’ve learned and listen to what others have learned. If a particular piece of advice speaks to you or makes sense to you, then let it help you chart your course. If it sounds like nonsense – it may not be the advice that you need at that particular time in your life.

In this issue of Canadian Newcomer, we’ve tried to include some insights to help you through whatever challenges you’re facing, whether you’re in pre-school or a senior’s residence, whether you’re care-free or “up to your ears” in obligations and responsibilities. And hopefully, even if you’re an old dog like me – you’re still able to learn some new tricks.

We at Canadian Newcomer wish you every success for 2011 and beyond!

Dale Sproule,

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