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Senior Momentum - February 2015 - It’s A Two-Way Street


Senior Momentum - February 2015 - It’s A Two-Way Street

by Zoe Tummillo

My way or the highway seldom produces enthusiastic growth or lasting harmony – at least that’s how I see it.   Whether it’s political differences, religious preferences or simple recollections, a mind more like an open highway beats gridlock any day!

There is so much more in a two-way street approach to life!  For instance, one of the best things about writing for publication is what comes back at you.   When a reader joins the discussion, shares their perspective, debates an issue or adds new information, it is nourishing – and it’s necessary!  When something I have written touches another with familiarity, it’s like closing a perfect circle.  It’s not about agreement; it’s about the exchange!  

One-way attitudes seem to prove over and over (in history as well as in the newest news) that closed minds and conflict are usually found together. Analogies can be useful to explore, and this is one of my favorites.

Two-way is just that: exchange – of feelings, ideas and experiences. (And that list, of course, could go on and on.)  It’s easy to expound about love, for example, as an ultimate two-way street, how it hinges on harmony and balance, depends on give-and-take, and how digging in your heels can get you run over.  Navigating any two-way has risks; it requires a lot of “wanna”.

Oncoming traffic isn’t welcome on a one-way!  It think it must get lonely being afraid to open new windows or experience the wonderful scary brink of taking a chance on the mysteries, for a change.  Taking that leap about love, new insights, unfamiliar subjects or new beliefs can be scary, to be sure!   It’s got to be strange to be so positive about almost everything that it becomes its own isolation. 

I remember a professor or two like that.  They assured us with the impression that they had all the answers; we dozed off and drifted away from their droning rhetoric and fixed positions.  We were much more intrigued by the other ones who insisted that, whatever the subject of study, everything is in motion.  There are “...more questions than answers, we would have to do our own adventure, and life should always be a two-way street!”  

Some of the rationales for a town deciding to go to one-way streets resemble those of a closed mind – increasing safety, less risk, fewer challenges, more control.  (And, even then, once in a while there’s a maverick who takes that wrong turn and stirs everything up!)

It’s also easy to see the difference between employers in business management.   One may have an open mind and be interested in the exchange of ideas and suggestions among employees, while another is operating on a one-way street where he or she is the boss and it’s truly “my way or the highway,” often resulting in frequent staff turnover.   Makes you wonder which one will most likely be successful and progressive through innovation, and which one will maintain, but not appreciably advance.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the value of flexibility and keeping an open mind.  With my granddaughter and me there can only be a two-way street approach!  Often we just agree to disagree!  But we keep both lanes open, practice two-way thinking and try to be good drivers at it.

(Seniors have a lot at stake.  We either jump in with our two-cents-worth and keep up, or we opt out.   It’s a complex, contemporary matrix that’s moving full speed ahead on its unfamiliar super highways – easily leaving us behind!)


Zoë Tummillo is a Business & Marketing Consultant, Trainer, Commercial Writer, dba COMMUNICATION CONCEPTS, in private practice since 1974.   In addition to Commercial work, she writes “Senior Momentum:  A Series of Situations”; “Pieces of My Path”©, essay memoirs of growing up first generation Italian American; and Senior Momentum:  Front And Center!©. To contact her: email: