May 16 2012
How do you age with grace and dignity? In a culture that reveres the young, how does a wise member of the tribe give offer value and meaning to those younger? If you’ve been following the seven steps of The Way, you probably know what I’m going to say. You have to become self-reliant. You have to take care of your health, your mind, and your soul. You are still creating and contributing to the world at large. You live in the moment and are free from worrying, remembering that you are a work in progress and to be gentle with yourself. We need to become a shining example of age and grace to those behind us. They are looking at us and taking mental notes on how to achieve this task. One of the tricks I’ve discovered is a simple Buddhist teaching. Always be a beginner at something. Always be learning. When you are in the learning mode your face is flushed with energy, there is excitement in your step, and the possibilities seem endless. (Plus, you are fun to be around.) Next, surround yourself with positive people. If we become more of who we really are as we age, then positive, happy people become more positive and happier. Negative people, well you know. Bless them and let them go. Aging with grace and dignity means making the necessary lifestyle changes and planning for your future, not waiting for a crisis and then letting your children try and figure out what you would have wanted. And yes. I’ve done all of this, in my early forties when I wasn’t emotional about the topic, just pragmatic. Periodically I visit the lawyer and tweak it. And I’ve also decided that when I’m older I will live somewhere warm in the winter, and I’ve made the necessary monetary decisions to make that happen. So, how are you going to age with grace and dignity?