One of the elders I love to listen to is my 83 yr. old father-in-law, Richard J. Miller. We spent this past New Year’s Eve together, and shortly after midnight he declared, “I’ve now lived in 10 decades”.
He looks at the world with curiosity and marvel, something from which we can all learn, so I asked him to share what is important to him at this phase of his life.
He was quick to point out that although he has accumulated much knowledge over the years, having earned two Masters Degrees and a Doctorate, as well as all the things he studied and learned on his own, what he values more than ever is his wisdom.
At one time he looked through a lens that many of us do, wondering if the upcoming generation had what it takes to keep the world going! At 83, he’s lived enough to know that all’s well and the “kids” in charge are doing fine.
He’s found that the key to accepting life in this way, recognizing that goodness prevails, is to “just be kind to everybody”. So simple and beautiful and yes, very wise.
After our conversation, I picked up a book called “Self-Development and the Way to Power, written in 1916, some 11 years before my f-i-l was born. The author contends that the our first job as humans is to grow, and that we grow different parts of ourselves at different stages of our lives. And as long as we are growing some part of our life, we are a vital and important part of the human cycle. And the way we know we are growing and remain a vital part of the human cycle is that we are still alive.
So whether it’s physical growth in our early years, or intellectual and emotional growth, or wisdom and spiritual growth, we are all doing our job!
Wise words, indeed.