September 28, 2021
“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.”
I read a lot of stuff on the internet. Since I consider myself a work in progress I always look to find ways to make my life as good as possible. Since I am only eighty six years old I often benefit form the wisdom shared by some of my older friends. I have especially benefited from their tips on perserverance.
Here is a story that includes life lessons from a ninty-one year old wise gentleman.
No Barriers in Life
I volunteer at a Mental Illness Drop in Centre in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Next to the drop in centre, there is a Men’s Shed, where men who are mostly retired come together to do wood work and metal work. It is also a place where these men meet and bond.
I sometimes wander into the Men’s Shed to say hello to some of them men, whom I now know on a first name basis. Just recently, I went to the Men’s Shed and noticed a new face. He was a short and slim elderly man, with grey hair pulled back. So, I decided to introduce myself, and we started a casual conversation.
It was a cool summer afternoon. Melbourne had been hit by a heat wave for days, and it was the first cool day of the week. So we sat outside to enjoy the cool south westerly breeze. The old Tasmanian oak outdoor table we sat at was rattling a bit, but the white plastic deck chairs felt comfortable.
This man’s name was Ted, and he was 91 years of age. He asked me what brought me there, and then I asked him the same question. Ted’s story is remarkable to say the least! When he started telling me about his life story, I was so consumed by the details in which he was reliving his life. It almost felt like he took me back to the past.
Ted had lived through the great depression, served in the defence force and worked on a farm. His knowledge was so extensive in many areas of life. He now builds model rail engines and carts. His pale hands reached out to a folder on the table, and he took out some photos. ‘Have a look at these’ he said as he handed me the photos. In the photos I saw his collection of model rail engines and carts. He had built these in is workshop at his home and his passion for this was obvious to me.
Ted took me through each photo and explained what was in each photo. He started telling me about how he cuts steel to build his model rail engines and carts. He seemed very enthusiastic. In awe of his passion, I could not help but ask ‘Ted, what are some of the life lessons that you have learnt?’
So he gave me the following life lessons:
– Put confidence in whatever you do.
– Don’t be afraid of mistakes. Make them, and learn from them.
– Age is no barrier.
– Live to learn.
– Always listen to people when they talk. You will learn something when you listen carefully.
Wise people like Ted come into our lives for a reason. Whether we learn from their experience and wisdom or not is entirely up to us. I was so amazed and impressed by his passion for life at the age of 91 years! He repeatedly kept saying that learning is very important in life. I walked away from that conversation thinking that there cannot be any barriers in life unless we impose those barriers ourselves. Here I was, learning from a 91 year old wise man with so much life experience and with so much wisdom. All I could think about was the passion that this great man had for life.
So, please take a close look at your life and ask yourself ‘How passionate am I about my life?’ Then look for any barriers that you think exist in your life. If Ted can live a life without barriers, then so can you.
Written by Ron Prasad
“An obstacle is often a stepping stone.”
One Christmas, a parent decreed that she was no longer going to remind her children of their thank-you note duties. As a result their grandmother never received acknowledgments of the generous checks she had given. The next year things were different, however.
“The children came over in person to thank me,” the grandparent told a friend triumphantly.
“How wonderful!” the friend exclaimed. “What do you think caused the change in behavior?”
“Oh, that’s easy,” the grandmother replied. “This year I didn’t sign the checks.”
The Associate Minister unveiled the church’s new tithing campaign slogan last Sunday:
“I Upped My Pledge – Up Yours.”
She said: Like all growing boys, my teenage grandson Jermon was constantly hungry, I went to the ‘fridge to find something he might like. After poking around a bit and moving the milk and juice cartons, I spotted a bowl of leftover chili. “Hey, Jermon,” I called out excitedly. He came running into the kitchen. “Look! I found some chili.” Struggling to be polite, he said, “If you’re that surprised, I’m not really sure I want it.”
On the other hand, you have different fingers.
So one day, Gramma sent her grandson Johnnie down to the water hole to get some water for cooking dinner. As he was dipping the bucket in, he saw two big eyes looking back at him. He dropped the bucket and hightailed it for Gramma’s kitchen.
“Well now, where’s my bucket and where’s my water?” Gramma asked him.
“I can’t get any water from that water hole, “Gramma!” exclaimed Johnnie. “there’s a big ol’ alligator down there waiting for me!”
“Now don’t you mind that ol’ alligator, Johnnie. He’s been there for a few years now, and he’s never hurt anyone. Why, he’s probably as scared of you as you are of him!”
“Well, Gramma,” replied Johnnie, “if he’s as scared of me as I am of him, then that water ain’t fit to drink!”
They say you can’t have too much of a good thing. I wish I’d been part of that study.
At a Mass at which some young ladies were to take their finals vows to become nuns, the Bishop presiding noticed two Rabbis enter the church just before the service began. They insisted on sitting on the right side of the center aisle. The Bishop wondered why they had come, but he didn’t have time to inquire before the Mass began.
When it came time for the announcements, the Bishop’s curiosity got the better of him. He welcomed the two Rabbis and asked why they had chosen to be present at this occasion where the young ladies were to become the “Brides of Christ.”
The elder of the Rabbis slowly rose to his feet and explained, “Family of the Groom.”
Right is right, even if everyone is against it; and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.
A young man came home from the office and found his new bride sobbing inconsolably.
“I feel terrible,” she told him. “I was pressing your suit and I burned a big hole in the seat of your trousers.”
“Forget it,” consoled her husband. “Remember that I’ve got an extra pair of pants for that suit.”
“Yes, and it’s lucky you have,” said the woman, drying her eyes. “I used them to patch the hole.”
He who is outside the door has already got a good part of his journey behind him.
He said: The restaurant where I took my two sons for a meal was crowded with fans watching a sporting event on television. The harried waitress took our order, but more than half an hour passed with no sign of her return.
I was trying to keep my kids from becoming restless when suddenly shouts of victory came from the bar. “Hey,” commented my 11-year-old, “it sounds as if someone just got his food.”
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
The psychiatrist was not expecting the distraught stranger who staggered into his office and slumped into a chair.
“I’m losing my memory, Doctor,” he sobbed. “What should I do?”
“Pay me in advance.”
Ever notice how kids learn to drive a car in no time, but cannot understand the workings of the lawn mower, snow blower, or vacuum cleaner?
“I play golf in the low 80’s,” the little old man was telling one of the young boys at the club.
“Wow,” said the young man, “that’s pretty impressive.”
“Not really,” said the little old man. “Any hotter and I’d probably have a stroke.”
Short skirts have a tendency to make men polite. Have you ever seen a man get on a bus ahead of one?
“Permanence, perseverance, and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragement, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”
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