“The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” Robert Frost
“Many old people report the feeling of invisibility experienced by other minorities. This takes the form of being ignored in stores by salespeople, seeing few desirable reflections of themselves in popular culture, becoming the object of obligatory visits and phone calls from family members, and above all, no longer being treated as if they have anything useful to say. It is this latter experience, not being listened to, that is the most galling for the elderly. … ‘Getting old is not for sissies’ is an accurate statement of the predicament faced by the old in a youth-obsessed society. Perhaps our final obligation is to sustain the physical and psychological blows that accompany our aging with a dignity that eschews self-pity. …If we can retain our good humor and interest in others even as the curtain closes, we will have contributed something of inestimable value to those who survive us. We will have thereby fulfilled our final obligation to them and expressed our gratitude for the gift of life that we, undeserving, have been given and that we have enjoyed for so long.” Gordon Livingston
“It is lovely to meet an old person whose face is deeply lined, a face that has been deeply inhabited, to look in the eyes and find light there.” John O’Donohue
“I’ve enjoyed every age I’ve been, and each has had its own individual merit. Every laugh line, every scar, is a badge I wear to show I’ve been present, the inner rings of my personal tree trunk that I display proudly for all to see. Nowadays, I don’t want a “perfect” face and body; I want to wear the life I’ve lived.” Pat Benatar
“Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran.”
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Do others ever make you feel “invisible?” Do you feel the need to be visible?
- Has God made changed you or made you more useful by allowing you to be treated like “other minorities?” If so, how?
- Have the losses of aging, in some ways made you better? If so, how?
Abba, each day I’m less “perfect” … and also perfected a little more. Thank you.
For More: Too Old Soon, Too Late Smart by Gordon Livingston
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”