The Amanda Gorman Buzz – Connecting Youth And Aging

amanda gorman buzz

When petite Amanda Gorman stepped up and onto the little riser placed for her at the Inauguration lectern so that we could see her radiant face above the microphone, I had a feeling something special was afoot.

This was a presidential inauguration.  Only poet gods were given this microphone – Robert Frost, Maya Angelou.  Here was this little 22-year-old girl with the big hairdo and shiny Prada hairband on top that made her look taller than she was, and an enormous sweet smile that was too big for the size of her face… what was she doing here?


The Amanda Gorman buzz was about to erupt


In that split second, it dawned on me that Amanda Gorman must be a prodigy, a wunderkind, to be entrusted with so daunting a challenge.  My guess is that the Biden team were subtly snickering to themselves as the cameras focused in on this out-of-place little sprite about to address the world with the gravitas of a spelling bee winner addressing Congress.


They knew the surprise they were about to unveil.  They knew who they were about to introduce to the world.  (I didn’t know that Oprah had already anointed her.  Did you?)   The Biden team’s self-satisfied snickering must have been delicious.


And then she spoke.


The words… the stirring words… the elegant gestures… the controlled self-confidence of a future president she aspires to be in 2036… I found myself tearing up as I watched and listened.


Oh the power of soaring poetry to lift us up… delivered by an angel with a Prada halo who shocked millions with the thought-provoking force of her words… it was glorious.


So what does this have to do with aging or with living an ageless life - the focus of my blog?


Well, here’s my point…


As we age our ability to see wonder and magic gets hardened and jaundiced by life.  Disappointments, frustration, cynicism, conflict – life experience has a way of numbing us to that which could amaze and inspire us, to that which could paint bright colors on our life – if we could just widen our vision and open our heart to wonder.


Living an ageless life, in part, is an exercise in continually re-learning how to be amazed, how to be inspired to not only find more meaning and purpose in life as we age, but also how to be more childlike… raising our antennae to proactively search for and revel in all the wonder around us every day.


Thank you!


So thank you Biden team, and thank you Amanda for amazing and stirring this 77-year-old heart.  After all the disturbing strife of the last few weeks, you inspired me to a brighter hope and confidence in the future. 


Yes, there are so many engaged, accomplished young people out there, so many hidden by the focus on ones who dominate headlines for the wrong reasons.  Thankfully, our remarkable youth don’t pay much attention to this lack of respect.  They’re busy fighting for their future.  And their determination inspires me.


For the more confident we old farts are in the future our children and grandchildren will inhabit, the more comfortable we are to shift our attention to scanning the world  for wonder and for stimulating experiences that can enrich our lives as we age… ever-aspiring… ever-ageless.


So I’m going to stop writing now and go re-watch Amanda’s speech again.  Another shot of inspiration can’t hurt.


Watch Amanda recite her poem at the inauguration


Full text of "The Hill We Climb" poem


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