Something my grandmother, Ma, as I dubbed her, told me in my high school years before leaving for Columbia, South Carolina to attend the University of South Carolina still sticks with me. “Chris, you can never come back home.”

Fortunately, she didn’t mean that literally. I am still welcomed home with open arms on the farm in Pendleton, South Carolina. On a side note, I find it wild that I have now made Fripp my home longer that I lived at home. Fripp was always a second home, but that’s neither here nor there. I didn’t know what Ma meant until coming back home the summer of 1995 following my first semester at Carolina. You don’t know until you know, right? But is there a chance Ma was wrong, in a manner of speaking?

How often do we lament and admonish the young for squandering their youth? “Youth is wasted on the young…” This axiom that has truth to it sometimes, no doubt. It’s a wonder any of us survive ages sixteen to twenty-five. I maintain that pivotal time in our lives is more fraught with danger that when we’re trying to lick a light socket at age two. There’s a reason for such sayings, but I submit the converse can be true as well—another axiom could be born here.

Experienced humans beware as we smugly speak of our future. Be mindful that the wisdom that comes with age is not wasted on the old. Does this mean we need to revisit notions we once decided were silly? There’s a reason that passion was there. Use your God-given creativity and hard-earned experience to spin it again.

If you are a James Bond fan, we know that Roger Moore’s The Spy Who Loved Me(1977) gave the franchise a rebirth the second a parachute with the UK flag popped out of 007’s butt in the famous opening sequence.

By the late 90’s Bond and Q’s gadgets had grown stale again. Exit Pierce Brosnan, hello Daniel Craig! Cubby Broccoli, the late head of the franchise, imparted wisdom to his daughter and stepson (who now run the Bond franchise) that if Agent 007 was ever in peril of being assassinated by the changing tides of tastes, that they were to go back to the original Ian Fleming’s (creator of 007) Casino Royale. Go back home, essentially. I’d say it worked, especially if you compare the previous iteration of Bond versus what Daniel Craig did. Don’t get me started on the poop the OSCAR WINNER Halle Berry put on screen as a Bond girl in Die Another Day. Even elite actors like Pierce Brosnan and Larry Hagman can be dulled down by the likes of a Donna Reed or Denise Richards.

The beauty of age is that we can learn from the chaos of life. We can even learn to avoid chaos, if we make an effort to take note of the chaos that created order. Consider what nature teaches us about using chaos to create personal gain. The Australian fire hawk will drop smoldering sticks to create more fire to incite more fleeing prey for it to consume. Understanding why someone does what they do isn’t nearly as important as understanding why you continue to hang with this person. According to Merriam-Webster’s Instagram page has to say about razors. We usually think of Occam’s razor teaching us that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one, but there’s another one called Hanlon’s razor. Hanlon’s razor says, never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Our sorrows bring us together. How focused were we as a nation before Pearl Harbor?That day “that will live in infamy,” “awakened a sleeping giant” and brought this nation out ofthe Great Depression.

I’d like to think we’re learning from our past. Illinois just passed a ban that bans book bans. Check out Illinois’s governor’s speech. It’s enlightening when he speaks about the claim that book bans protect our children. I, for one, do not want my child “protected” in such a manner.

To move the needle, you gotta find it. “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world.” (Katharine Hepburn’s documentary) The House Un-American Committee almost brought downthe Lucille Balls of this world. What would this timeline be like without the likes of a Lucille Ball having walked it? This was back during the days when everything and everyone was a Commie plot. It wasn’t some punchline or a movie antagonist for the likes of Bond to defeat. No, this was life and death. We would never have loved Lucy nor would we have had the franchise of Star Trek with its cornerstone of diversity.

Is an onion and its layers the forbidden fruit of the problem? If you feel dirty, then, aren’t you? (I feel the previous sentence needs to be said with a British accent.) Cigarettes: the comfort of worry in one neat little portable cylinder. What started innocently enough, quickly became a furtive touch to places I wasn’t ready to go. To win, sometimes one must lose oneself into the team or collective. All these little phrases are meant to spur a memory—starting blocks, if you will.

Excellence lives at the intersection of passion and preparedness with equal parts vigor and experience. Check your passion levels and be open to preparedness looking different these days, in very individual ways. This time around, add a dash of Ted Lasso. “Be curious, not judgmental.” It’s never too late to go back home and use experience to forge a more solid foundation.