Is Age the Equivalent to Becoming A Conservative?

There are a couple things that I realized late in life. Hence my need to document my Chronicles (as) a Late Bloomer.

One key thing I’ve learned about myself is that I’ve become what I struggled not to become.

The lesson?

It was inevitable.

Professionally, I’m a traditionalist and seem to be growing into more of a conservative than I would ever have thought. Not speaking to my political beliefs, but to the huge divide between the way that things are professionally done by (or between) Boomers, Gen X/Y and Millennials.

Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains.

Attributed to the likes of Winston Churchill and others; the quote simply defines how we should grow. In action, thought and deed…we’re supposed to learn and do more or do differently.

As a young woman I couldn’t be liberal in my professional attire, like some of my friends, because I worked in healthcare administration (translation – ultra conservative). I loathed the fact that I couldn’t wear jeans, couldn’t relax a bit and wear a blazer instead of a pants suit. Some of it was me working really hard to ensure that being the only African-American woman in the marketing department wasn’t what people saw or evaluated. I used clothing to ensure that my work was the focus. For example, a traditional Kasper, pinstripe suit is the

Cheryl Read

President, Cheryl Read & Associates, Belmont University professor and former VP of Marketing & Communications at HCA’s TriStar Health System.

same type of outfit that my VP was wearing. So, my work was the focus because she saw something that she was familiar with seeing (in her own closet). I also believed in dressing like who I wanted to become. (INROADS training)

But even then I realized that I wanted to change the system, create change. Things that are “very liberal thoughts.”

Now, I look at what “young” people want to do – wear flip flops to a job interview or walk in with a nose ring; have immediate expectations to do things their own way and anticipate notoriety without earning the right to make recommendations or learning the current process. Oh no! Was I this way? Perhaps because I have Boomer parents, this is not even a set of options.

As I add another year, it makes me wonder if it’s inevitable to become more conservative in thinking. It’s likely, just because of age. However, my goal – this year and each one I add on, hereafter – is to remain open-minded, creative and not stuck-in-my-ways…which means building relationships with people across multiple generations to make certain my perspective remains inclusive.

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