By Zak Clayton | August 16, 2020

Smarter at 6On Sunday night, August 16th, 2020 I turn six. And I have learned more in my first six years than I ever learned in my last 42. I have stopped worrying about a lot of things that were clogging up my head, I love working, that has not changed. But now, my job is leading to a life of change for people, not just me. I have learned to read, not a lot, but I can do it now. Do I get a cookie? A gold star?

No, eh, I tried. I have learned more about business than I ever thought I would. Imagine that, a six-year-old businessperson. It almost sounds too cute. But too bad it is me, there is no cute there. I have learned a lot about players like Andrew Carnegie, and Dale Carnegie. Like, they are not pronounced the same. Brian Tracy, and Gary John Bishop. They are a little different. Like a cat and a pumpkin. James Clear, Atomic Habits, have you read it? You should. And I have taken in so much history from ancient Mesopotamia to great story telling by Leif Babin and Jocko Willink who are Navy Seals. I learned how to use a computer. Okay, that is no big deal. Most kids know how to use phones and computers before they can speak. But if you knew me before I was born, you would know computers and I were not on a “friendly terms.”

Like a lot of people, I consider myself a person with two birthdays. 48 long years ago, and then six years ago when I was run off the road. While I am at times completely shocked that I lived for the last 48 years, I love the chance to reflect from August 16th to August 16th. So, yeah, I guess that makes it a little like new years at well. What does that mean? Resolutions. That is right. Now, when I get older, I will call them goals, but for now, I am still a kid, so resolutions it is. Oh, by the way I will be accepting birthday gifts on and around both birthdays. Please, feel free to spoil me rotten!! And because I am a kid, I love noisy things. Like a Harley!!

When I was 42, I thought I knew how to talk to people. Now that I am six, I have learned how to talk to more than just bikers. I have always enjoyed a conversation with a stranger, but I was never careful and mindful of what I said. Now I can tell the difference between talking, interrupting, or offending others around me.

Now that I am six, I can honestly understand empathy, and really understand people so much better. Yes, I still want to jump around on the couch and believe me, if you have a popsicle, my attention is yours! At 42 I knew about an issue, but never did I sit down and truly understand the total effects on lives. This is important. Everyone goes through issues. Everyone is affected by these issues in a different way. It is not all about being prepared, rich, poor, young, old, but it is not, not about all of that. What do you hold dear to yourself and what you are willing to suffer through for results? You see, at 42, I thought those with money, those who are put together were able to handle situations better. Now that I am six, I realize, pain is pain and it hurts everyone.

I wish it were all positive. And as sad as it is, it may never be. We will have to wait and see. But people are going to have to pull it together. At 42, I thought that one of the greatest gifts was our opinions. Now that my birthday is here, I realize that this could lead to anguish. I could live another 42 years or another six years can come and go, and I will never understand why we cannot talk to someone who has a different opinion. Look I know the truth, Heavy Metal is the best music, sausage is much better than bacon, Snatch is the best movie ever, and everyone deserves a chance to ask for help. And do not worry if you disagree with everything I said, We all have our faults.

It is okay to disagree. You do not have to agree with everyone. You do not have to agree with everything. But opinions are just that, opinions. Facts are this, what is a fact to you is not always a fact to someone else. That is even if it is a fact at all. There is no way of telling what side is doing more for anyone. The real question is, are any of them doing anything for anyone but themselves. We are not the same. None of us. We have some similarities, some of us even agree occasionally. But it is not going to happen all the time. Good lord, who would want to agree with everyone?

Opinions are not facts, and facts can be easier to come by with education and compromise. And compromise simply means everyone gets something and deep down, no one gets everything they want. Grim, but true. Look, living together is not hard. I have done it for six years!! What is so hard about remembering that we have all made mistakes, guess what, we are all going to make more mistakes. Like I just went to go eat a piece of candy in a foil cube, it was gross!!

It does not matter if you are 42, 6, 23 ½ or any other age. This is the world we have, and other people are not going anywhere. We need to work together. Loneliness is already a problem today with a lot of people causing depression, anger, and resentment. It is time that we come to a decision, or compromise, to learn about others, their cultures, lives, problems, dislikes, and likes. Other people and their beliefs are not the problem, at least, they do not have to be. We need others. We cannot run everything by ourselves. I know one guy who put a tire on backwards. I do not see how he even breathes on his own. But I need him, because as much as I disagree with a lot of things he did in his first 42 years, my first six would not have been such a success.