Breaking Stereotypes: Wisdom Knows No Age

Unbroken Optimist

In late December last year, I attended a Christmas market event with my newly published book, Unbroken Optimist. It was my first time participating in a fair as an author, and I was filled with excitement. However, something felt a bit out of place. Amidst all the clothing, cookies, and festive items, I was the only one with books at my kiosk. But it didn’t take long before people started grabbing them like donuts. I was surprisingly pleased with how well my book was doing. I quickly became the star of the fair. People would purchase the book, chat with me for some minutes, then they would leave, and more people would come after they started reading and talking about the book to other attendees around them. It was amazing for me as an author to connect with my readers on such a personal level in such an unconventional setting.

Most of the people who were purchasing the book at the event were far older than me.
But they appreciated and valued what I had to say.
However, one older lady walked up to me and goes: “Hi, my name is so and so. I heard everyone talking about a young man who wrote a memoir, and I’m curious… Aren’t you too young to be writing a memoir? (For the sake of this post, I will call the old lady Stacy)
– Nice to meet you, Stacy. I’m Kofi I responded as I stretched my arm to offer her a handshake; she warmly accepted. And as we made eye contact, I continued.
What’s your definition of a memoir Stacy? Just making sure we’re on the same page to better answer your question. I continued.
– We both know what a memoir is, she retorted. I would give you at most 24 years, and I don’t think you’ve seen enough of life to write about.
– Nice guess with my age, but I am at least a decade older than that, I said. I could see Stayce’s eyes aperture widen like a camera. She realized she judged the book by its cover too quickly. But that wasn’t enough for her.

–   I can see where you’re coming from, Stacy.
To me, a memoir means thoughtful takeaways and perspectives from experience.
While the number of years one has accumulated on earth can mean they’ve experienced a lot, it is not always the case. The number of years doesn’t come automatically with experience. Experience comes from getting out of our comfort zone, and there are countless people with gray hair who never made a single step out of their comfort zone. Carrying around empty years.
On the other hand, you have younger people who have reputedly thrown themselves into arenas you can’t even begin to imagine. Young people who have stepped out of their comfort zone countless times. Enriching them with experience and wisdom that can add value to other people’s personal survival guide.
So if you’d ask me, Stacy,
I believe some 10 years old kids, if they could write a memoir, would bring more value to you and me than some 100 years old folks.

Stacy swiftly circled around me in a sharp move, reached to the table behind me, grabbed a book, and handed it to me with a big smile: “May you please sign this copy for me?” I would also like to get two other copies with special notes, if you don’t mind. My dad and my oldest son love reading, and this would be a great Christmas gift! Thank you for being patient with me, Stacy concluded. I have just gained some significant insight from this short conversation, and I appreciate it so much. Thank you, Kofi! I cannot wait to dive into your book.


In a world where age often becomes synonymous with experience and wisdom, it is essential to challenge such assumptions and embrace the richness that diverse perspectives can bring. Meaningful insights can be found in unexpected places, transcending the boundaries of age. It is a testament to the fact that true wisdom is not solely measured by the number of years one has lived but by their willingness to step out of their comfort zone and the depth of their experiences.

As authors, we have the unique opportunity to bridge gaps, ignite conversations, and touch the lives of readers from all walks of life. The personal connections we forge with our readers are invaluable, allowing us to share our journeys and learn from theirs in return. The story of Stacy’s transformation from skepticism to enthusiasm exemplifies the profound impact our words can have, regardless of our age or background.

Let us appreciate the value that every individual, regardless of their age, can bring to the table.
By doing so, we unlock a world of possibilities and create a space where wisdom knows no boundaries.

So, as we continue to share our stories and embark on new adventures, let us embrace the notion that the power of a memoir lies not in the number of years lived but in the authenticity of our experiences and the insights we glean from them.

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