In one birthday 10 years older again, age: 162 years old
by Eduard Schaepman, on 11 Jul 2019
"What's Schaepman saying now?", I hear you thinking. ‘He may have had his birthday last Monday, and he may not be the youngest, but 162 years old? It’ll probably have to do with those tribes again!’ And of course, that is absolutely true, because this year I celebrated my birthday in Hunza style.
The Hunza are world famous because of the myth that they can get very old. In 1984, Said Abdul Mobudu was at the immigration service, when they were stunned by his age. The number in his passport said that he was 160 years old. Of course, this news was all over the internet, and there were even more very old people in Said Abduls hometown. People believed this longevity myth could be true because the Hunza eat a lot of apricots (if that is the only tree that grows in the area, there are little options), and because they lived so high up in the mountains. But it soon became clear that it was something else. They have a very nice thought: you are as old as your experience, knowledge and achievements all together. In addition to your years of life, you can add years for all those things. Two men who were born in the same year can therefore carry a different age. One may have achieved more in his life or has more possessions and is therefore older than the other. So, you could say, 'the older the better'! The things that count are family, children, animals, sports, etc! Per 'yes' you can throw a few years on top of your age; and that results for me in a mere 162 years old (remember that we also had 2 rabbits).
That thought of the Hunza seems to me to be quite a good mentality for our society. We’re pretty judgmental in the Netherlands, especially when I'm talking about age: it’s difficult to get a job when you're over 50 years old. The average HR department assesses CVs by age, and if you are too old or too young, then you don't stand a chance of being invited. Young people don't have enough experience, old people are often rigid and cannot be changed. At least, that's what we think of each other. As Chief of Tribes, but also in previous jobs, I've learned a long time ago that you certainly shouldn't judge in that way. A piece of paper doesn't mean anything, you have to let someone come by to get to know them, and then assess whether they are the best candidate for the job, and that's the basis on which you make your choice. Not years of life, but experience, performance and knowledge.
So just a quick a tip: put you Hunza age on paper in addition to your date of birth, when you apply for the position of Sales Chief in Brussels!