What’s age got to do with it?

Once my family sold The Beacon restaurant, I had the opportunity to take my father out for breakfast. He wanted to go to Hardee’s, the original Hardee’s located on Kennedy Street and built by Jerry Richardson, a friend of my fathers with whom he had once shared his biscuit recipe.

After ordering before paying, the clerk asked my father if he would like to tell his age to receive the senior discount. Dad’s reply? A stern and defiant “hell no!”

His severe and quick response surprised me at the time, but then again, my age wasn’t much of an issue to me back then. Now that I’ve had some distance—and a few more trips around the sun—I understand that age to my father, and now to me, was a state of mind.

Today I turn seventy years old, and I’m thankful to have come this far, for I am blessed. I recently celebrated my birthday at a firm lunch and enjoyed dinner with a ninety-year old friend, who was happy, inquisitive and full of a zest for life.

So I ask—what’s age got to do with it? I suggest nothing. Seventy is the new fifty, and I am as energized today as I have always been, perhaps even more so. I have been blessed with good genes, good health and a positive state of mind. My professional role is still one of leadership as I think through the five, ten, and twenty year plans for our firm. I am extraordinarily grateful to God who allows me to function in this state of mind.

So, do I want to retire? Hello no! But do I want the senior discount? Hell yes! But I am not a senior citizen, I am a seasoned citizen, viable and relevant. If you’re in my boat, stay involved in life and don’t check out! And if you’re younger, realize life on earth is precious. Relax and enjoy it—but make a difference!

Blog post by managing partner John B. White Jr. Read more about John here.

John w birthday cake
John B. White Jr., Managing Partner, at his birthday celebration

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