When Do You Become Old?

Is being old an age, a feeling, or both?


Some people seem to get old before their time.


They go about echting and kretzching–at 40 and 50, they are saying this hurts and I feel crummy about that!  Nu, I’m not 18 anymore!


Other people never, literally almost never seem to get old.


One lady I know is going to be 94 this month and she is going strong mentally, emotionally, and physically.  It almost seems impossible.  


This guy in the photo has a funny shirt on that says:

“I thought growing old would take longer.”


Yeah, it does sort of creep up on you, but really, really fast.  Like where the heck did that come from!


I know inside for me, I always still feel like a kid. 


I have the same funny side, playful side, and curious side; the desire to be productive and accomplish something meaningful with my life and time, and to love and be loved. 


Yeah, things hurt a little more than they did years ago–can’t believe the things I used to be able to do–Yes, at one time, I use to break cinder blocks with my bare hands, true!


But now, I can do other things like swim and hike and I love to write things that I am passionate about or to be a little creative too!


Maybe we do not get old…maybe we are just like caterpillars that morph into something else like butterflies during this life and into the life beyond. 


Age is experience, learning, growth–lots of mistakes–and then recovering and trying again and harder.  


Life is wonderment and excitement and appreciation for every amazing beautiful thing. 


No, life does not get old. 


Suffering and loss gets old quick and wish it never was. 


But we are physical bodies with eternal souls, so we go on and on into the wild blue yonder. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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The Diversity Tapestry

I really liked this sign with the saying by civil rights leader, Maya Angelou:

“We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value, no matter what their color [or race, or origin, or religion, or age, or gender, or sexual orientation, or disability].”


Ok, I added the “or” statements at the end. 


But the point is the same and important.


Discrimination, bigotry, prejudice, and bias are stupid. 


They are a function of ignorance. 


– We learn from diversity. 


– Life is richer with diversity. 


If everything was in monocolor…if life was homogeneous…if there was only one type of everything, then what type of humdrum, monotonous, and boring place would this be?


Value the variety.  Value the diversity.  Value the differences. 


They make us better and stronger than we could ever otherwise be. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

G-d Created Evolution

Evolution.jpeg

So I’ve been thinking a little bit about evolution.


And I don’t see any contradiction between evolution and creation.


In fact, G-d created evolution!


You see, in His infinite wisdom and love, G-d made his creations with the ability to change over time. 


We are not static creatures, but we are able to evolve, adapt, transform, and grow ourselves, our species, and our world over time. 


But, but, but…there are fossils hundreds of millions years old…how could G-d have created the world less than 6,000 years ago?


Well, who says G-d created the world at time horizon zero–if the world was fully formed with trees and plants, and fish, birds, animals, and people–then these could all have had age associated with and built into them already. 


Boom…G-d just created Adam and Eve–was that from the point of conception, day of birth, or fully grown adult?  Similarly, how old is the tallest mountain or the fullest forest when it was created? 


Time is not a function of G-d who is timeless. 


And the formed world appears at the blink of G-d’s eye and it can disappear that way too. 


Similarly, we learn in the Bible how G-d created the world in 6 “days” and rested on the 7th, but who says a day is literally that.


Couldn’t a day as in 1, 2, 3, etc. be phases of creation…where a day could be anything from a split second to a millennium or even a hundred million years.


To the G-d who Was, Is, and Will Be–what is a day, but a span of infinitesimal to infinite time to create His children and the world to teach and grow them. 


We are here in a infinite universe enveloped by the love of a limitless G-d. 


Evolution is no more a constraint on G-d then time or space is–to the contrary, evolution is a blessing of G-d that lets things develop and mature from the image of G-d to the imagination of His mind’s glory. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wise Man Watcheth

Asian Sculpture.jpeg

I just loved this Asian sculpture that I found in this cool antique store.


It was white and slim with a Asian man face, long beard, and tall hat. 


The face was so expressive.


The eyes so alert and watching. 


The beard and hat made him look old and wise. 


As a real person, this is someone who has seen and learned so many things.


Forever watching.


Forever seeking to understand.


Forever trying to learn the secrets of the life. 


This is a person to consult and get guidance from. 


With age comes wisdom.


And with (occasional) reincarnation comes more opportunity to learn the painful lessons that we haven’t, but must.


How long has this man been sitting there watching and learning–how long must we?


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Go Safe or Go For It?

In_it_to_win_it

I came away with some thoughts on risk taking watching this scene from the movie “Lies and Alibis.”

The girl says: “Simple is boring.”

The guy answers: “Boring is safe.”

The girl responds: “Safe is for old people.”

(Note: nothing personal here to the elderly. Also, hope I didn’t get the who said which thing wrong, but the point is the same.)

Take-a-way: Very often in life we aren’t sure whether to take a risk or not. Is it worth it or is it reckless? And we have to weigh the pros and cons, carefully!

– We have to ask ourselves, where’s the risk and where’s the reward?

We have to decide whether we want to try something new and accept the potential risk or stay stable and go safe with the status quo that we already know.

At times, staying with a bad status quo can be the more risky proposition and change the safer option–so it all depends on the situation.

– We also have to look at our capabilities to take chances:

For example, in terms of age appropriateness–it can be argued that younger people can take more risk, because they have more time to recover in life, should the situation go bad.

At the same time, older people may have more of a foundation (financial savings, built-up experience and education, and a life-long reputation) to take more chances–they have a cushion to fall back on, if necessary.

– In the end, we have to know our own level of risk tolerance and have a sense of clarity as to what we are looking for and the value of it, as well as the odds for success and failure.

It’s a very personal calculation and the rewards or losses are yours for the taking. Make sure you are ready to accept them!

Finally–always, always, always have a plan B. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Progressing From Data to Wisdom

450px-the_thinker_rodin
I liked this explanation (not verbatim) by Dr. Jim Chen of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom.
– DATA: This is an alphanumeric entity and/or symbol (ABC, 123, !@#…)- INFORMATION: This is when entities are related/associated to each other and thereby derive meaning. (Information = Data + Meaning)- KNOWLEDGE: This is information applied to context. (Knowledge = Data + Meaning + Context)

– WISDOM: This is knowledge applied to multiple contexts. (Wisdom = Data + Meaning + (Context x N cases)).

I’d like to end this blog with a short quote that I thought sort of sums it up:

“A man may be born to wealth, but wisdom comes only with length of days.” – Anonymous

(Source Photo: here)

>Life Building 101

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Body_builder

The Guardian U.K. (2 April, 2011) has this wonderfully inspiring story about a very special body builder.

Dr. Charles Eugster is a dentist and athlete extraordinaire–you see Eugster is 91 years old.

And he says that At 85 I had a crisis. I looked at myself in the mirror, and saw an old man. I was overweight, my posture was terrible and there was skin hanging off me. I looked like a wreck.”

Now, he is doing dips, crunches, chin-ups, and push ups and scoring higher than contestants in ANY other age category.

Eugster says “I’m not chasing youthfulness, I’m chasing health.

Although he was already rowing 6 times a week when he was in his late-80s, he figured he could push himself a little harder and so he joined a body building club–OMG, this guy’s attitude is amazing!

What an inspiration…

His outlook is that “We’re told that old age is a continuous state of decline, and that we should stop working, slow down and prepare to die. I disagree…one day something will happen and that will be it. But until that day comes, I’m going to carry on working my abs!”

While none of us know when our time us up, it seems that we can choose how we approach our personal maturation–we can look at it as reaching a peak and then going over the proverbial cliff of life OR we can fight to continuously transform ourselves–for as long as we can–and to always try and be the best we can be.

Age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, or disability–none of these should inhibit us from working our hardest and going for the gold of what is meaningful in life to us.

I remember a wise saying I learned from my teachers–the competition is really not with anyone else, it is with yourself.

So to me it’s not really body building we’re talking about, but rather life building–and this is something we can all strive for.