Growing up, most of us have heard the expression “listen to your elders.” We heard it, but a lot of us didn’t heed it. Too bad, because looking back, its obvious our elders knew what they were talking about!
I was chatting with an elderly friend this week and the conversation steered toward politics. I asked him what it was like back in his day…if things were as chaotic and splintered as they are now. I was surprised by his answer. In short, this is the way he explained it to me:
- Politics is dirty…always has been
- We’ve pretty much always been split between right and left…“but”…
- Politicians are all the same…”but”…
Now for the “buts” in what he shared with me:
- Politics has always been dirty, but today, it seems downright filthy
- We’ve always been split between the two parties, but most people were moderate. He doesn’t recall a time in the past in which such extremists had “hijacked” the parties.
- Politicians have always been a bit shady, but today, they seem dirty
- And…he reminded me that back in his day, people had a lot of work to do, so they didn’t have time to talk politics and people didn’t want to talk politics all the time…those conversations had their place. He added that people also got their news from the paper or evening news — there was no 24 x 7 news and no internet. Mostly though, he shared with me the fact that people were just nicer — calmer, more polite. He has noticed a big change on that regard.
You know, talking to him made me feel a lot better. Ironically, yesterday, a friend shared this gem on Facebook and the timing was so apposes, I had to share it with our readers.
Crossing 65 and Heading Toward 70
I asked one of my friends who has crossed 65 and is heading toward 70, what sort of change he is feeling in himself?
He sent me the following very interesting lines, which i would like to share with you…
1) After loving my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children and my friends, now I have started loving myself.
2) I just realized that I am not “Atlas”. The world does not rest on my shoulders.
3) I have now stopped bargaining with vegetable & fruit vendors. After all, a few cents more is not going to burn a hole in my pocket but it might help the poor fellow save for his daughter’s school fees.
4) I pay the Waitress without waiting for the change. The extra money might bring a smile to her face. After all, she is toiling much harder for a living than me.
5) I stopped telling the elderly that they’ve already told me that story many times. After all, the story makes them walk down memory lane and relive the past.
6) I have learnt not to correct people even when I know they are wrong. After all, the onus of making everyone perfect is not on me. Peace is more precious than perfection.
7) I give compliments freely and generously. After all, it’s a mood enhancer not only for the recipient, but also for me.
8) I have learnt not to bother about a crease or a spot on my shirt, because personality speaks louder than appearances.
9) I walk away from people who don’t value me — they might not know my worth, but I do.
10) I remain cool when someone plays dirty to outrun me in the rat race. After all, I am not a rat and I’m not in any race.
11) I am learning not to be embarrassed by my emotions, because it’s my emotions that make me human.
12) I have learnt that its better to drop the ego than to break a relationship. After all, my ego will keep me aloof whereas with relationships, I will never be alone.
13) I have learnt to live each day as if it’s the last. After all, it might be the last.
14) I am doing what makes me happy. After all, I’m responsible for my own happiness, and I owe it to myself to choose to be happy.
I like this piece for a couple of reasons. It shows us how our way of thinking changes as we get older — and not so much changes, as much as we embrace a way of thinking we may have always had, but were unable to embrace? The other reason is because it is liberating — happiness, kindness, generosity, gratitude…they’re all choices and they’re the very things that create happiness. So, what are we waiting for?
“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.” – Amy Collette