If you read Day #742, you know I’m reading Tuesdays with Morrie. Here is another tidbit, this time on aging:
“Mitch, it is impossible for the old not to envy the young. But the issue is to accept who you are and revel in that. This is your time to be in your thirties. I had my time to be in my thirties, and now is my time to be seventy-eight. You have to find what's good and true and beautiful in your life as it is now. Looking back makes you competitive. And, age is not a competitive issue.”Okay, that is helpful to read as I long for the abandon of my twenties, the energy of my thirties, and even the strength of my forties.
But then I thought this was the real clincher. There was a discussion about why Morrie wanted people to continue telling him about their problems in life. And he talked with Mitch Albom about having satisfaction in life itself, in relationships, and not in the stuff. He seems to be saying that we often work so hard in our youth to accumulate, but real joy comes in offering what you have to give. Then Morrie said:
“Why do you think it's so important for me to hear other people's problems? Don't I have enough pain and suffering of my own? Of course I do. But giving to other people is what makes me feel alive.”Followed later by: “This is how you start to get respect, by offering something you have.”
And we ALL have something intangible to give. Not presents wrapped in pretty paper, or money, or "stuff" such as this, but simple things to offer like respect, a listening ear, empathy, mercy, simply ourselves.
I suppose as we get older, or closer to the realization of our own mortality at whatever age, what is truly important comes more clearly into focus. Why does it have to take so long?