AS I GROW OLDER

Advice from Bertrand Russell:
“Make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river — small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls.
Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly,
and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being.”

When I read this paragraph in Brain Pickings it changed my whole outlook on my age.
I turned 70 in June. It was not easy to look at my life and realize that the majority of it is over.
I am in good health, active, in life and respected in my profession.
And I wanted to be younger. I did not want to be pigeonholed as an “old” person, stereotypically declining and becoming more feeble by the day, as advertising portrays us.
For a while I embraced the new way of age defining, that 70 is the new 40, or 50, depending on how I felt. Sometimes I even felt 30.
But then I realized that I have lived a long time.
I know stuff.
I cannot pretend that I don’t know life.
I have a whole rich life of experiences, learning and growing behind me.
I have gone through a lot, good and bad, boring and exciting.
I learned a lot along the way.
I know and understand things about life that 30, 40 or even 50 Year Olds don’t know yet.
I can look at young people and know what is still ahead of them in life.
I can look at successful entrepreneurs and know that there will be a point in their lives where the values and drive they have now, will change.
I look at trees and plants and appreciate their persistence in growing against all odds.
I understand joy and loss, happiness and sorrow and I know that sometimes life will never be the same again.
I am now aware that my life is at the stage where the river grows wider and calmer. My individual ego can let go and become part of the universal life where it is clear what is and what is not important.
I am free to contribute to the growth and thriving of my environment, people, animals and plants and myself.
I can fully express my appreciation and gratitude for everything around me, be it the friendly barista, a kind word, a polite gesture and the huge amounts of love that I am receiving and giving in my daily life. Those are the benefits of age.
The ego rightly still asks its due, albeit modified. I will forever take care of myself well.
And I will contribute to the planet, society and my environment in the way I see fit.My life has been, is, and will, as long as I live, be committed to freedom for everybody, to progress and evolution, to personal growth and the preservation of our wonderful
nature and earth.
That is what I can be counted on from now until I die.

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