The fastest growing segment of the American population is comprised of people above the age of 65. That segment is the healthiest, longest lived, most educated, most active body of elders the world has even known. Yet our current culture values youth above all else.
The truth of the matter is that life is about doing every age well, learning what we are to learn, and giving what we can give back. Middle-agers give leadership, imagination, and generativity; they build and rebuild, and gain satisfaction from a sense of accomplishment. Elders have a different outlook. They have the ability to evaluate, to bring to life the wisdom that has come from failures and successes, to give as much as they have received. Given the luxury of years, elders look back on the twists and turns of life with a more measured gaze. Elders know what lasts in life, what counts, what remains after all the work has been completed.
(Adapted from The Seven Blessings that Come With Aging by Sister Joan Chittister)
Joy in the Journey
Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.
There is a time for birth and death, planting and reaping,
For killing and healing, destroying and building,
For crying and laughing, weeping and dancing,
For throwing stones and gathering stones,
Embracing and parting.
There is a time for finding and losing, keeping and giving
For tearing and sewing, listening and speaking.
There is also a time for love and hate, for war and peace.
The Happiest Season of Life
“What is the happiest season of life?” I asked my grandfather.
He replied, “When spring comes and the buds are breaking on the trees, and they are covered with blossoms, I think, ‘How beautiful is spring.’ And when summer comes and covers the trees with its heavy foliage, and singing birds are among the branches, I think, ‘How beautiful is summer.’ When autumn loads them with golden fruit and their leaves bear the gorgeous tint of frost, I think, ‘How beautiful is autumn.’ And when it is severe winter, and there is neither foliage nor fruit, then I look up through the leafless branches as I never could until now, and see the stars shine in God’s home.”