April 27

Today's quotation:

It seems to me that our great problem, or rather our chief concern, should be. . . how to pass gracefully, and even magnificently, and with undiminished vigor from youth to middle age, and then how to carry that middle age into approaching old age, with a great deal more of the vigor and the outlook of middle life than we ordinarily do.

Ralph Waldo Trine
"The Higher Powers of Mind and Spirit"

Today's Meditation:

We're fortunate to live in a time when there are far fewer obstacles to keep aged people from living full lives.  It really is up to us now to do our best to make sure we age well, to do our best to remain healthy as we age and to take advantage of all the resources available to us to help us to maintain the vigor of younger years.  We learn every day that some things that we thought were meant exclusively for younger people, things such as athletics, sex, new beginnings, new hobbies--actually are available to us all, no matter what our age.

I want to stay vigorous as an older person because it's really only with vigor that I can serve the younger people I meet with lessons that I've learned, experiences that I've had, mistakes that I've made.  If I sit at home watching TV every day because I'm old, just who's benefiting from my experiences?

Aging "well" is really up to us as individuals.  Yes, there are physical limitations--I won't be able to run as fast at 60 as I was able to run at 30; my five-hour hike at 40 may be my seven-hour hike at 65.  But that's okay.  I'll be in a different age bracket in my races at 60, and what's wrong with spending an extra two hours out in the beauty of nature--or simply taking a slightly shorter hike that will still take five hours?  Either way, I'm not giving myself up to a slow slide that will make me less and less lively and active as I get closer to death.  I prefer to meet death as a person who's still getting all out of life that I possibly can.

If we're to maintain our energy and vigor, it really is important that every now and then we take stock of what we're doing--as well as what we're not doing, and what we've given up doing--so that we can make any necessary changes that will keep us energetic and alive.  Our older years do not have to be years of fading away--they can be years of shining brightly as a beacon that can inspire others to do the same.

Questions to consider:

From where do we get our ideas and attitudes about age and aging?

Why do so many of us give up so many enjoyable activities in life as we grow older?

How might we make sure that we age gracefully and vigorously?

For further thought:

Age has no reality except in the physical world.  The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time.  Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom.

Gabriel García Márquez
Love in the Time of Cholera

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