President Barack Obama joined the 50-and-over club on Aug. 4, reaching a milestone that often brings wisdom with age.
“Once you get to 50, you realize what is really important and what is not,” said Saundra Chipungu, chair of the doctoral program at Morgan State University.
As years progress, people begin to understand what they want out of life and what they don’t. Even with these realizations, people can still experience and discover things they never thought they would.
“Don’t be afraid to try new things no matter how old you are,” said Chipungu, who still holds on to her sense of adventure.
Although this may be true for most, someone in a position of power such as the president will always be subjected to other people’s expectations of him.
President Obama is no stranger to criticism.
“There is this old cliché that says when you turn 50, you no longer have time for anyone’s B.S.,” Mercedes Eugenia, deputy director for the US Agency for International Development, said laughing.
Eugenia also believes that at the age of 50 you begin to figure out what you truly want to do instead of doing what is expected of you.
“You become more concerned with deeper things,” said Eugenia. “Your focus becomes more on community, society, humanity, and what legacy you will leave behind.”
As you grow older, the weight of your decisions increases as well.
“Someone did say to me, ‘Now you can focus on being truly happy because you are solely responsible for everything you do now,’” Eugenia said.
The decisions made by the president so far shows that he is adept at listening to his gut feelings and instincts as opposed to letting others distract him from his goals.
Eugenia said Obama pushes forward with his vision despite the obstacles and disrespect that he experiences.
“I think the last two years have given him a lifetime of experience,” she said. “What he’s brought to the White House has never been done before.”
Wisdom is a quality that is immensely advantageous in Obama’s position. “Age makes you a better person,” said Joan Stukes, a high school English teacher for Baltimore City Public Schools. “You become wise, more grounded and honest…the president will learn from his experiences and make fewer mistakes,” she said.
Making the right decisions is never as easy as it seems, but with wisdom, experience, and advice, it can be much easier.
“Whatever you are doing, do your best…no matter how big or small the job is,” Chipungu said. “If you are doing the best you can, you can look back without regrets.”
President Obama celebrated his birthday in his home city of Chicago by hosting a celebrity-studded concert and dinner that doubled as a fundraiser for his 2012 election campaign.
Many wonder what type of gift the president of the United States would truly appreciate, and in a recent interview with NPR, Obama listed only one thing on his wish-list.
“What I really want right now is to get a debt ceiling deal for my birthday.”
He received that gift Aug. 2 when the Senate followed the House in passing a deal that raised the debt ceiling by cutting over $2 trillion in government spending over 10 years.