“Love life, engage in it, give it all you’ve got. love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it”
I was at the annual meeting of an organization I co-founded twenty years ago the other night. Before the meeting started I asked the Chairman of the Board if she had a call to action for the members and officers in attendance and she did. Her call to action was to ask them to get engaged with the work of the organization by offering their time and talent.
Since that evening I have met with others who raised different questions and yet I found that getting engaged with what we can do is an opportunity to really live. Today a friend said she was impressed with how I seem to bounce back quickly from illness and adversity as if it was something special, in my mind it isn’t. I just never have seen any value in wallowing in self pity over something that is over and is now history. There is just too much that we can do if we just stay engaged with the world around us. What I told my friend is that I sincerely believe that we are who we choose to be. Sure we may not be able to do some of the things we use to do but fortunately there is always more than enough other things that we can do.
I also visited with the head of our premier senior service organization the other day and sure enough our conversations ended up recognizing the importance of offering folks a wide range of engaging choices as they age. The happiest people I know are people who constantly adjust their lives, but they don’t adjust them by stopping; if they can’t walk they ride, if they can’t see they listen and I am always inspired by these folks who are always part of the parade.
My life has never been better but it is a lot different than it was and to some extent that is due to the vibrant people I meet who are even much older than I am who continue to find joy in each day. So my friends please don’t decide it is time to sit on the sidelines and watch life go by, get engaged, I’ll be waiting for you.
As I said I think to a large extent the quality of our life is a matter of choice so I went into my wisdom files and found this piece written by our old friend Ralph Marston that I’d like to share with you.
Choices in every moment
The same skills you use to create limiting beliefs can be used to create empowering beliefs. All you need is a meaningful enough reason.
The same energy you use to make excuses can instead be used to take action. You simply have to want it enough.
You are a full time, highly effective achievement machine. What you choose to achieve is completely up to you.
You have what it takes to live your dreams and you have what it takes to ignore those dreams. You get to decide which it will be.
Your choices are made in every moment, in every word, in every thought, and in every action. Those choices are driven by what you focus upon.
The life you live is the life you choose to most vividly and consistently imagine. Imagine the best, without ceasing, and that’s exactly what you’ll have.
“There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from your live those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.”
One day, two out-of-work ventriloquists are talking on the phone to each other and lamenting their condition. The older one says, “Just between you and me, I’ve been moonlighting lately as a medium.”
The young ventriloquist is quite impressed. “Really?” he says. “I didn’t know that you were psychic!”
“Well, to tell you the truth, I’m not,” confesses the older man. “But what I did was rent a storefront and bought a small round table, a crystal ball, and a turban. Then, when people come in, I throw my voice and they think that they’re talking to their dead relatives.”
“What a great idea!” says the young ventriloquist.
“You should try it too,” suggests the first man. “You’ll see, it works great.”
The next day, the young man goes out, rents a little storefront, and buys a table, a crystal ball, and a turban. He opens up for business, and an hour later a middle-aged woman walks in. She sits down at the table across from the ventriloquist and asks him, “Can you put me in touch with my long-lost husband?”
“I sure can!” he answers. “Why, for just a hundred dollars, you can hear your husband speak to you from behind that curtain over there. Now I must warn you that his voice might sound a little different, but that’s because he’s talking to you from the spirit world.”
“That’s wonderful,” says the woman eagerly.
“For a hundred and fifty dollars,” the ventriloquist says, “you could have a two -way conversation with your husband, and talk back and forth with him.”
The woman’s voice rises in anticipation as she asks, “You mean, I could communicate directly with my dear departed Hubert?”
“Not only that,” says the ventriloquist, getting just as excited as the woman. “For two hundred dollars, you could actually carry on a two-way conversation with your husband while I’m drinking a glass of water!”
“In an underdeveloped country don’t drink the water. In a developed country don’t breathe the air.”
A stalwart Vermont farmer bought some land that was still just as it had been before the Pilgrims landed. He dug up hundreds of stones and built a fence; cut down trees to create a clearing; built a house and a small barn; cleared land for pasture, dug a well and over several years just generally worked his fingers to the bone in creating a small, neat, productive farm.
Eventually his pastor came out for a visit and marveled rather fulsomely, and at great length, at all that “you and God have done together.”
“Eh,” the farmer said dubiously. “Ya shoulda seen the place when God ran it on his own.”
I am having an out of money experience.
Several women appeared in court, each accusing the other of the trouble they were having in the apartment building where they lived. The judge, with Solomon-like wisdom decreed, “I’ll hear the oldest woman first.” The case was closed for lack of evidence.
Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you sit there.
On their 50th wedding anniversary and during the banquet celebrating it, Tom was asked to give his friends a brief account of the benefits of a marriage of such long duration. “Tell us Tom, just what is it you have learned from all those wonderful years with your wife?” Tom responds, “Well, I’ve learned that marriage is the best teacher of all. It teaches you loyalty, meekness, forbearance, self-restraint, forgiveness — and a great many other qualities you wouldn’t have needed if you’d stayed single.”
Happiness must be cultivated. It is like character. It is not a thing to be safely let alone for a moment, or it will run to weeds.
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps
A census taker in a rural area went up to a farmhouse and knocked. When a woman came to the door, he asked her how many children she had and their ages.
She said, “Les’ see now, there’s the twins, Sally and Billy, they’re eighteen. And the twins, Seth & Beth, they’re sixteen. And the twins, Penny and Jenny, they’re fourteen—- “
“Hold on!” said the census taker, “Did you get twins every time?”
The woman answered, “Heck no, there were hundreds of times we didn’t get nothin’.”
“All of the top achievers I know are life-long learners… Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they’re not learning, they’re not growing… not moving toward excellence.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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