When you’re 20, you have no experience being 70, and when you’re 70, you’ve experienced being 20.

It’s easy at 70 to regret what you did at 20, but not entirely fair, is my point. If you have no way of knowing, at 20, what life will be like at 70, then how can being 70 have any influence on what you do at 20? But at 70 you know what it’s like being 20 cause you’ve lived it.

Besides which, all the advice I’ve ever heard is to live in the present, which means if you’re 70 not to dwell on when you were 20.

However, I’ve never heard not to think about the future, so if you’re 20 then maybe you ought to spend sometime thinking about being 70 because, when you get there, there’s a greater possibility you’ll live it wisely than if you hadn’t thought about it. Thinking about the future at 70 has its drawbacks.

Maybe the lesson is, if you’re 20, to seek out the knowledge of 70-year-olds? Who knows? You might save yourself some aggravation.

Like Mark Twain said, “When I was a boy of 8, I couldn’t believe how stupid my old man was, and by the time I was twelve, I couldn’t get over how much he’d learned.”

JACK COEY

15 Fairview St.

Keene