Getting old (Part 2 of 3 Parts)

Published by rudy Date posted on April 15, 2009

When I did some consultancy work with a large multinational corporation years ago, a top executive told me of a study the company had made. It seems that their executives who retired lived on average only two years. That is, two years after retirement, they were dead.

I decided then and there never to retire. If God comes to get me, He will have to look for me at work. Too many successful people fall into inactivity when they retire. They sit idly by getting what little pleasures they can afford and wait for the end. Far too many, their lives can be summarized by the following lines.

I get up each morning, dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper and read the orbits.
If my name is missing, I know I’m not dead,
so I eat my breakfast, and go back to bed.

As you get older the inevitability of death becomes more real. And the older you get the more real it becomes. As the years pass by, you can see the odds stacking up against you. And if you have lived longer that the national average life expectancy you consider yourself one of the lucky ones. But you also feel, more than ever, that your days, not years, are numbered.

It is as if there is nothing left to live for except your children and grandchildren. Dreamers stop dreaming. Go-getters stop going. Leaders have no one to lead. And it seems fruitless to start something you know you might never finish.

Depression in older people is common as they see themselves losing their grip on life, there is guilt over what might have been, but never was. Guilt over real mistakes and those that were unintentional and time given to the wrong priorities. Guilt over the race to acquire material things rather than a meaningful life. Regret over having worked too much and loved too little. Sadness over having squandered so much precious time, which is the measure of life.

Unless older people can shake off those feelings of depression and push themselves into living the fullness of their remaining days, they will waste away physically, emotionally and every which way.

When you are approaching the finish line, you give it all you’ve got and you do as much as you can do with the time that you have. it is what is living a meaningful life is all about it is also teaching your loved ones not only how to live, but how to pass on to the next world. –Bong, Garon, Manila Times

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