As I'm a couple of years past 50, I've taken note of some subtle (or not so subtle) changes in my own character and am more than a bit curious if some of our other dinosaurs have had similar experiences. The biggest change I've seen is more patience and less desire to run roughshod over the ideas and opinions of others. At work I see it in ways I wouldn't have imagined. I allow subordinates to painstakingly make their case for a bad idea or run blindly down a wrong path and smack their head into that same brick wall I would have steered them away from 10 years ago. My first inclination on this matter is that 10 years ago, my own level of responsibility was less, with less margin for error. Now that I have some operating room, it is easier to justify allowing people to fail on small projects without incurring overriding costs. I have somewhere along the line become a firm believer that allowing someone to fail will teach them far more than either fencing them into areas of their own expertise or forcing them along a path not of their choosing with a known successful outcome. On the otherhand, I may be just as inclinced to accept the fact that 10 years ago, I wouldn't have allowed subordinates the opportunity to fail at tasks due to the inefficiency involved. I also see it in how I deal with my granddaughter as opposed to how I dealt with my kids. Today, my granddaughter and I replaced the dishwasher...a task that would have taken me about an hour. It took us a little over 5 hours. We had to remove the old unit, read the installation instructions, take the instructions out to the garage to make sure we had all the tools we needed, nevermind the fact that all the tools we needed were already in the kitchen from having taken the old one out Then there was the timeout we needed to put the bandaid on my forehead after she dropped a crescent wrench on gampa's nads and I smacked my head on the sink trap I guess the point I'm trying to get to is this...is this aspect of aging a pretty much normal turn in life...more patience and the willingness that is almost a desire to teach and pass along the things that don't exist in the textbooks? Are we genetically predisposed to patience and to some degree mentoring as we get older?