To grow old is one of life’s blessings, but it is not all roses, one day you wake up and find you have injured yourself while sleeping, maybe today is the day you discover you have knees, and they are very unhappy with the way you have treated them over the years. Or maybe it is the day you realize that you cannot keep up with all the new things and changes happen around you daily.
Sometimes as I reflect on growing older, and the older I grow the more I seem to reflect on that, not because I am fearful of the aging process, or that I am worried about my final outcome (hint I love Jesus). I reflect because I ask myself what I have done to set up the next generation for succuss, what can I be doing with the time I have left to help.
In my career I have watched the birth and growth on an entire industry, and have seen how the technology we have made has had a profound and lasting impact on what it means to be a human and how you interact with the world. Those who come after us do not have that luxury, they are lacking the background and understanding of the grey hairs.
Each year that goes by it becomes clearer I have forgotten more than I currently know, that with age and experience comes a price that must be paid. I don’t know all the latest and greatest things happening, new tech, new vulnerabilities, new exploits. The good news is how you deal with them has not changed much in the last 30 years.
Experienced professionals have stories to tell, advice to give and lessons they learned the hard way that they can share. Are we doing enough to mentor those coming up in the industry, before our minds leave us and we spend our days sitting in a chair reminiscing about the good old days and how you had to yell at the people in your house, “Hey I am on the internet, hang up the phone” or that one time we waited 4 hours for a jpeg to download? Or when you knew what was on your network and could explain what it was doing?
I find myself pondering this question as I grow older, I ask what legacy we are leaving the next generation that are following behind us, who are looking to us for guidance and leadership.
What lessons have we learned both technical and non-technical that we want to pass on. What scars have we earned that taught us how to avoid them in the first place? What are WE doing to pass that knowledge onto those who will be here after us?
In an industry that is so competitive and based on secrecy, are we doing enough to pass down the hard-earned knowledge that no book or class can teach, only being in the battle and earning the scars are you able to pass on the learnings from that experience. If we do not share our knowledge, then the same mistakes will be made over and over again by those who come after us.
I like growing older because I value the experience I have gained, the scars I have earned, the joyous moments and the painful ones just like the title of one my favorite western films, the good the bad and the ugly, and with age you WILL see all the Good The bad and the Ugly life has to offer in your lifetime.
Although sometimes I feel like a lost shoe on the side of the highway, where did it come from, how in the F did it get here and does it still serve a purpose.
I used to wonder why all the “Old people seemed to be cranky and fed up with the world, and each day that point of view makes more and more since to me.
Join us tonight for a discussion on aging, the impact it has on us as humans and security professionals and most importantly, what are we doing to pass on the experience we have to the next generation.
Evan, Chris and Ryan