Western culture is absolutely obsessed with youth. In the U.S., we don’t invest in young people with school, but we do cultivate a celebrity culture that emphasizes people under 30 accomplishing huge things—just don’t look into where their money is coming from.
There are many remarkable people who accomplish things young and go on to accomplish even more as they get older, but there are many, many more people who have a lot of hurdles to leap before they can even think of hitting their peak.
Writer and Bram Stoker Award-winning editor Doug Murano tweeted about being tired of “under 40” lists, meaning the lists usually published by Forbes of people who we should all pay attention to due to their success who are under the age of 40. He said he wanted to see people who accomplished their biggest dreams in their later years.
The response was enormous. Lots of people had examples of famous historical figures. Lots of people had examples of family members, friends, classmates, and even themselves.
Bored Panda interviewed Murano, who said he was overwhelmed by all the stories he received.
“I didn’t use any hashtags in the tweet and wasn’t expecting it to get this level of attention at all,” he said. “I was excited when it reached 2,000 likes and it has been wild to follow the numbers as they approach 200,000 likes and 7 million impressions. More than that, though, I have enjoyed seeing stories come in from all over the world.”
When asked which answers inspired him them the most, he said, “What touched me the most about the responses I received weren’t even the career wins—it was the person who finally got the courage to learn to drive at 45, the grandmother who took up painting at 70, the grandfather who learned to swim. We can make meaning in our lives in so many ways. Let’s expand that notion. Let’s celebrate our elders and learn from their example.”
If you’re worried about where you are in life or need a little motivation, read the stories about people who got where they wanted to be in their own good time.
Louise Hay wrote her first book at 50, at 60 learned to garden, at 70 took her first art class, a class held for children. At 75, she took an adult art class and at 76, began showing and selling her work.
— Patti McCracken (@pattimcc1) September 5, 2020
I was laid off 2008 after 26y on job. Started bachelors 2009, graduated hons 2013. Started PhD 2014 at 51 yrs old, expect to graduate next year at 57. Before was nervous wreck even introing myself in a group. Now teaching classes.
Learned so much and grown so much as a person.
— John T. Johnson Luctor et Emergo (@John4tl) September 5, 2020
I love that Hokusai’s iconic image ‘The Great Wave’ was painted in his 60s after a lifetime of being an artist, he was a master craftsmen who peaked at an age when many folk might be thinking about retirement https://t.co/Z5n0VV4UIL.
— Anita (@AnitaNicholson) September 5, 2020
After decades of doodling plans on napkins as she followed my diplomat father from one posting to the next my mom got her architecture degree in her 60’s. My retired dad was ferociously proud of her and threw an epic party for her graduation. ♥️
— Mark McKinney (@Mark_DMcKinney) September 5, 2020
And today is Grandma Moses birthday who didn’t start painting till her 70s.
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) September 7, 2020
My husband died when I was 48. I finished my bachelors at 50 and started grad school at 51. I graduated at almost 54. Then I started a counseling private practice. So- new degree, new business, new career.
— Jan Owen (@janjowen) September 5, 2020
My former neighbour was awarded his Phd at the age if 83. He passed away the following year. pic.twitter.com/QapxyYHPOg
— Anna Banana (@Annacreegan) September 5, 2020
Thank you for writing this – although I’m actually 38 so should be silent on this thread, I’m considering a change and heading towards studying my MA in psychology but I’m not sure if I’m capable as have kids and job etc! This has given me a little hope and confidence
— Jean-Mary (@meanyjar) September 6, 2020
It’s not novels but my grandmother, after raising nine children and retiring from her nursing career, started painting. Her house is now basically an art gallery and she is actively creating family heirlooms. She’s my hero. pic.twitter.com/eYEA6fmy5m
— Joe Jamison (@jjami5000) September 7, 2020
In grad school and met a Native woman in her early 90s who started her linguistics PhD program in her late 80s in order to preserve her tribe’s language, she said many people in her family live in their 100s so it was as good a time as any and she years left to do the work.
— Brianna Bertoglio (@piranhabrianna) September 5, 2020