Our windscreen should be larger than our rear-view mirror.
That’s one way of looking at life, especially as we grow older. Our eyes should always be open to the exciting present and future, rather than focusing on our past, no matter how fulfilling and exciting our memories may be. If there is nothing to look forward to, there’s little incentive for going on.
Of course, this is easier when we are young and it seems the sky is the limit to what we can do. But as we age, our world will only be as big as our vision. We can allow life to close in on us, or we can continue to push out the frontiers of knowledge and experience, determined to live and learn.
There is so much to look forward to and enjoy in life. US pastor Harry Emerson Fosdick once said that our bare individuality is like the little bit of grit that gets into an oyster shell; the pearl of a life is made by the relationships gathered around it.
What are ‘pearls’ in your life? I always looked forward to taking my little grandson to the swings in a local park, and to feel his trusting little hand in mine. I value opportunities to meet and talk with like-minded people as well as those who have different opinions to me. I also enjoy meeting new people—who knows when the delight of a new friendship will develop?
One thing I do know is that as we grow older, those who ‘vegetate’ are lost—so resolve not be among their number!
Take out your diary and punctuate your future with interesting events—visit an art gallery, the theatre or go to a concert. Read interesting books, do something creative, try a new hobby—get yourself out of the humdrum, everyday rut.
If we become wrapped up in ourselves, we become very small parcels indeed. In my experience, looking for ways to help other people is a sure way of helping ourselves.
We can all reach out to others through a letter, a phone call or a visit.
My wife really enjoyed visiting residents in a retirement village. I must admit I smiled when she spoke of visiting the ‘old people’ because, like her husband, she is not so young herself! She finds personal pleasure in bringing a little happiness to others.
As we look ahead, we may start to consider the legacy we are going to leave behind. We may or may not have much to bestow by way of material wealth, but what of our value, our example, our experience? It is never too late to build up that kind of bequest, remembering that for people of faith, the best is yet to be.