We ain’t getting any younger. Day by day, hour by hour, our lives are heading toward the inevitable end. So what is our responsibility to ourselves, our families, and our society as we age?
I vividly recall reading years ago about a community in the old West who advertised for a school teacher. One of the requirements was that she (always she) “…put away a small sum each month so as not to become a burden on society.” Crude as that is, I think it pretty well encapsulates our responsibilities as humans: in every endeavor of our lives, put aside a small sum of your life so as not to become a burden on humanity.
I’m not only talking about money, which is rather obvious. I’m talking about ourselves as humans. For me, one of the most important things as I grow older is to keep my mind and body as fit, honed and active as possible. Set aside some time every day to read, watch the news (I have some opinions about where you should watch, but that’s neither here nor there), watch a television show or sporting event that’s outside your normal field of interest – generally, just stretch those mental muscles. You don’t have to make your brain sweat, just move the molecules around a bit.
Exercise seems obvious, and I’m as guilty as the next person of not doing as much as I should…but do SOMETHING. Even something as simple as, when you rise from your chair, just sit down again so you have to rise again. That’s a tiny little thing you can do, and from tiny things grow great achievements.
And, most importantly, interact with others. Even if you’re not a joiner, there are events you can attend where you’ll end up talking to someone you don’t know. It doesn’t matter if it’s a political rally or church bingo. Just get up, get out, and say hello.
Each of us has the responsibility of NOT becoming mentally slow, physically unhealthy, and socially isolated. Do your small part, and what goes around WILL come around.
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