When I was a youngster, I dreamt of the day I would step into the shoes of a “big” person. Like many teenagers, I had the invincible belief that I knew it all. But as the sands of time flowed, my views began to evolve.
In the bustling environment of a Chrysler engine plant, I found my voice as a foreman, sharing weekly updates and victories with my team. As I ascended to the corporate realm, my words took flight in the Chrysler Times newsletter, sparking conversations about corporate culture, continuous improvement, and leadership.
Time, I realized, is a playful illusionist. Thirty years seemed to slip away in a heartbeat, and I found myself in the beautiful season of elderhood. The transition from the “smartest” to realizing the vastness of our ignorance is where I believe true wisdom begins to sprout.
Being 82 is a brand-new adventure for me. As life expectancies soar, many of us are navigating these uncharted waters of extended elderhood. My writings now explore the vibrant dance of aging, hoping to ignite a spark of recognition in you.
In the darkest corners, I've discovered the radiant glow of gratitude. This powerful perspective can transform your world, turning an empty glass into one brimming with possibilities. As you count your blessings and revisit your joyous memories, you'll find yourself immersed in a sea of thankfulness – for life, friendships, and the chance to touch lives.
As elders, we're gifted with the extraordinary opportunity to shine our light on others. Our words and actions today could guide future generations on their journey. In South Whidbey, a community rich with elders, this potential to etch a lasting legacy of love and wisdom is profoundly evident.
Aging is a magical process that extends beyond the physical. It bestows us with a deep maturity, inner grace, and a serene presence. As a young man, I was driven by “What’s In It For Me.” But as I matured, my focus shifted from self to service, from isolation to community, and from receiving to giving.
Elders often embody compassion, humility, and morality, offering a treasure trove of insights to younger generations. As an elder, I strive to be a beacon of moral and spiritual guidance, aspiring to kindle the flame of inspiration in those around me.
Writing has become my sanctuary, a vibrant canvas for painting my thoughts and experiences. It gives me a sense of purpose and helps me share my wisdom with others.
In essence, no matter how many candles are on your birthday cake, remember that the journey of learning and growing never ceases. Choose to embrace the world with a learner's curiosity, empathize, and grow gracefully. Be a vessel of compassion, humility, and morality.
And always, irrespective of your circumstances, count your blessings. Remember, gratitude is the torch that illuminates the darkest paths. So let's light up the world with gratitude and dance in its radiant glow!
Living in gratitude is living in light!