Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Loving Advice from Those Who Are Traveling Ahead of You

Recently I posted the following request on Facebook:

I have a question for my FB friends over age 40: What one thing have you learned from you years of life experience would you most like to pass on to younger people you love and care for? I'd really like to read the wisdom you have gained from life.

Young people, listen and learn. Here are some of the responses:

  • Life is too short to major on the minors. Pick your battles and which hills you are willing to die on. You will enjoy life much more if you do.

  • With people who are important to me, I'd rather be friends than be right.

  • Living a biblical lifestyle is its own reward; life and relationships just work better when lived within those parameters.

  • I'd have to compartmentalize a bit: Career/Work: I've never been much of a joiner, but learned that committees, boards, task forces, appointments, memberships, etc. are critical. I've never really learned to enjoy them, but they are very necessary to get ahead, or even run in place. Personal Life: Honesty is its own reward. Family: No one in a nursing home ever says, I wish I'd spent more time at the office.

  • Pay attention to the moments -- favorite quote -- Life is not the breath you take, but the moments that take your breath away. If you look around you every day - there will be something to take your breath away.

  • Life is astonishingly short! That 90 year old person was once 10, 15, 18... and the time since then seems very short from their perspective. Time actually moves faster the older you are (I wrote a paper on this when I was in 9th or 10th grade "proving" that time moves faster as you progress through life - prompted by something I heard my parents say - it has turned out to be disturbingly true). So much of what this world tells us is important is trivial. And so much that this world tells us is trivial is of the utmost importance! Make a conscious decision who you want to be. Don't just float through life on the winds of chance. Chance may find the easy road, but it won't find a very fulfilling one. Learn to think critically, and don't accept easy explanations. When you are facing something you need to do that is very difficult or uncomfortable, remember that once you have done it, it will be in the past, then you will have already accomplished it, and in retrospect, it probably will not have been as bad as you feared. If there is healing that needs to be done, the process will have begun.And most importantly, there really is a God. What we do on this earth (in the short time we have), really does matter. Prayer isn't a drive up window where you place an order and and your wish appears. Instead it is how you build and develop your relationship with your heavenly Father. You can't build any sort of relationship on this earth if you never speak to the other person - how could you develop your relationship with God if you don't speak with (and much more importantly listen to) him? I've had two instances in my life where prayer was clearly answered, and they changed my life! They also taught me that prayer isn't for me to necessarily have my wishes granted, it's to open me to what God has to say to me, and at least sometimes, to re-enforce in me that He is there, and can affect my life. I could go on (and on, and on... --after all, there is SO much they need to know!), but I won't!

Thank you, Diane, Norma, Tersi, Jan, Jane, and David. I appreciate the interesting and inspiring commentary. The old expression that "youth is wasted on the young" seems so true as we gain life experience but lose physical strength and stamina through aging. It breaks my heart sometimes that the life-lessons learned through hard times have to be learned over and over by new generations.

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