Today would have been Jerry Garcia's 71st birthday. Had he lived to see this day, would the leader of the Grateful Dead continue to tour and perform as much as he did before his passing? My guess is absolutely he would. His former bandmates, all around the age of 70, are still going strong and touring the country like they were still in their 30's.
I am amazed at the touring and performance schedules of some of the legends of rock and roll. Mick Jagger is older than my dad, yet while my dad has retired and slowed his pace, Mick continues to roll on and perform at a high level.
It seems that age is much less of a factor today than in the past in terms of determining success. Some of the world's most valuable companies were started and are led by 30-somethings. It is not unusual for a giant hedge fund to be run by a person that grew up watching reruns of the Brady Bunch, rather than someone that came of age during the 50's or 60's, or earlier.
At work, I am amazed at how much responsibility people in their early to mid 20's are given, and how successfully they handle the challenges placed before them. When I started my career about 20 years ago (around the time that Jerry Garcia passed away, as a matter of fact), I was not afforded the types of opportunities that my younger colleagues are given. Whereas in the past it was common to put in a decade of work to prove one's abilities before being given any real responsibility, that timetable has been compressed dramatically.
When we are young we are often in a rush to grow up. My son is five years old and he has decided he is already too old for his little kid underwear. He asked yesterday to go to the store to buy boxer shorts.
I am glad to see that young folks in the workforce are being given more of a chance to shine today. And, I am equally glad that in the fields of entertainment, business, science and others, the idea of the typical retirement age has become a thing of the past.