Friday, January 20, 2006

How to have great years as a senior citizen

"If you are never scared, embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take chances."
- Julia Soul

A person who never takes chances never has the opportunity to succeed. If success is a measure of the worth of human existence, not taking chances is one way to waste a life.

Taking chances opens the possibility for failure, which is why so many people avoid it. They are deathly afraid of failure, so they avoid any actions or decisions which could lead to that possibility.

Yet failure is the path to wisdom. Being scared, embarrassed and hurt are experiences along the normal path of development of human emotion.

As senior citizens, we all want to be both wise and emotionally mature. Those who are not have missed something along the way.

Now we know what: failure, fear, embarrassment and hurt.

The wisest among us have made the most mistakes. Their wisdom comes from learning as a result of those mistakes. They have "been there" and "done that."

Emotional maturity means having the ability to cope with the extremes of emotions that come with the eventualities of life. Emotions, like a pendulum, swing both ways. They swing as far toward happiness as they do toward despair.

Those who do not expand their emotional range by experiencing fear, embarrassment and hurt will not have the ability to experience happiness to the fullest.

He who can best enjoy a good belly laugh has also experienced some hurts that twist the gut.

Preparing ourselves best for life as older people means experiencing a full range of activities and emotions along the road.

Everything good gets worse. Everything bad gets better. The pendulum doesn't stop until you're dead.

Enjoy the ride. You only get one ticket.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help each person keep their pendulum swinging to its fullest.
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