June 13, 2019
We can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs.
My current Independent Living retirement community reminds me of a small town I stopped at in Kentucky years ago. As I left the expressway, I entered the town and was greeted by a sign that read something like, Welcome to Midville, population 312 and a few sore heads. Here we are a population of about 110 and one or two chronic complainers. These folks complain so often it is easy to ignore when they do make a constructive suggestion.
I just wish they enjoyed life as much as the rest of us do. I know old folks are often viewed as being cantankerous but that is not the case here. I don’t know if it is because we are among folks who expressed their unwillingness withdraw in their golden years and chose to join a welcoming community like ours. Whatever the reason I am glad I am among them.
I have extracted a section of the following story which advocates retaining a youthful outlook, I am glad so many of my fellow residents do that.
Love, Laugh and Enjoy
As people age so many become cynical, suspicious, grumpy and a bit critical. They tend to look at the world and all that surrounds them through skeptical, judgmental lenses. They become cantankerous and cease to enjoy the world around them. How sad.
Age should cause us to take in, appreciate and enjoy the world around us and those we come in contact with. Older people should stay a bit contemporary in thought while meshing wisdom with the reality of their age. Youth is fun and age is stability — what a wonderful combination.
If only we adults could look at the world through the eyes of a child, we would be more accepting of the things that are important. We adults become demanding. Things desired become essential. We judge prematurely as our eyes lie to us. When did we graduate to the point we need a referee to settle the argument between innocence and rebuke? Our fault-finding and criticism replaces admiration and respect and we often become what we detest.
We adults often find irrational reasons for judging, and complicated reasons for liking things or people. Children don’t need complex reasons for enjoying or loving. We adults seem to have to seek reasons to love and to appreciate. Children just do.
Maturity should bring with it lessons learned, but often wisdom is seen in the heart of a child.
So keep in mind, wisdom isn’t necessarily only seen in the elderly, so don’t miss seeing it in the young. Fun isn’t reserved only for youth — so love, laugh, and enjoy life as you age, and remember to look for wisdom in the heart of a child.
A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
A man writing at the post office desk was approached by an older fellow with a postcard in his hand. The old man said, “Sir, I’m sorry to bother you, but could you address this postcard for me? My arthritis is acting up today and I can’t even hold a pen.”
“Certainly sir,” said the younger man, “I’d be glad to.”
He wrote out the address and also agreed to write a short message and sign the card for the man.
Finally, the younger man asked, “Now, is there anything else I can do for you”?
The old fellow thought about it for a moment and said, “Yes, at the end could you just add, ‘P.S.: Please excuse the sloppy handwriting'”?
I used to eat a lot of natural foods until I learned that most people die of natural causes.
The monitor confirmed cardiac arrest as an elderly man suddenly lost consciousness. After about 20 seconds of resuscitation, he came to. Explaining to him that his heart had momentarily stopped, I asked if he remembered anything unusual during that time.
“I saw a bright light,” he said, “and in front of me a man dressed in white.”
Zeroing in on this near-death impression, I inquired if he could describe the figure.
“Sure, doctor,” he replied. “It was you.”
The best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it.
If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
The manager of a ladies’ dress shop realized it was time to give one her sales clerks a little talking-to. “Judy, your figures are well below any of our other salespeople’s. In fact, unless you can improve your record soon, I’m afraid you’ll have to let you go.”
“I’m sorry, Ma’am,” said a humbled Judy. “Can you give me any advice on how to do better?”
“Well, there is an old trick I can tell you about. It sounds silly, but it’s worked for me in the past. Get hold of a dictionary and go through it until you come to a word that had particular power for you. Memorize it, work it into your sales pitch whenever it seems appropriate, and you’ll be amazed at the results.” Sure enough, Judy’s sales figures went way up, and at the end of the month, the manager called her in again and congratulated her. “Did you try my little trick?” she asked.
Judy nodded. “It took me a whole weekend to find the right word, but I did: ‘fantastic.'”
“‘Fantastic.’ What a good word,” said the manager encouragingly. “How have you been using it?”
“Well, my first customer on Monday was a woman who told me her little girl had just been accepted at the most exclusive prep school in the city.” I said, ‘Fantastic.’ She went on to tell me how her daughter always got straight A’s and was the most popular girl in her class, I said ‘Fantastic’ and she bought $300 worth of clothing.
My next customer said she needed a formal dress for the spring ball at the country club, which she was in charge of. I said ‘Fantastic.’ She went on to tell she had the best figure of anyone on the committee and her husband makes the most money. I said ‘Fantastic’ and she not only bought the designer gown, but hundreds of dollars of other merchandise.
It’s been like that all week: the customers keep boasting, I keep saying ‘Fantastic’, and they keep buying.”
“Excellent work, Tina,” complimented her boss. “Just as a point of interest, what did you use to say to customers before you discovered your power word?”
Tina shrugged. “I used to say, “Do I look like I care?”
Yearn to understand first and to be understood second.
Beca Lewis Allen
Old Rabbi Wolfson was begging his board of directors to buy a new chandelier for the synagogue. Pleading for more than an hour, he sat down sullen and hopeless in his ambition to acquire a chandelier.
Then the elder president of the board stood up. “What’re we wasting time talkin’ for?” he said rhetorically. “Foist of all, a chandelier, … we ain’t got nobody who could even spell it. Second, we ain’t got nobody who could even play it. And third, what we need most in the synagogue is more light!”
I put the question directly to myself: “Suppose that all your objects in life were realized; that all the changes in institutions and opinions which you are looking forward to, could be completely effected at this very instant: would this be a great joy and happiness to you?” And an irrepressible self-consciousness distinctly answered, “No!”
John Stuart Mill
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