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The World is Mine, tips on growing old graciously

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - April 17, 2021 - 12:00am

April 17, 2021. Feel-good Saturday as usual, thanks to friends who contribute heart-warning stories that cap our weekend with an upbeat note.

1. The World is Mine (author unknown, from Joseph Chua)

Today, upon a bus,

I saw a beautiful woman

and wished I were as beautiful.

When suddenly she rose to leave,

I saw her hobble down the aisle.

She had one leg and used a crutch.

But as she passed, she flashed a smile.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

I have two legs; the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.

The lad who sold it had such charm.

I talked with him, he seemed so glad.

If I were late, it would do no harm.

And as I left, he said to me,

“I thank you, you’ve been so kind.

It’s nice to talk with folks like you.

You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

I have two eyes; the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,

I saw a child I knew.

He stood and watched the others play,

but he did not know what to do.

I stopped a moment and then I said,

“Why don’t you join them dear?”

He looked ahead without a word.

I forgot, he couldn’t hear.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

I have two ears; the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I’d go,

With eyes to see the sunset’s glow,

With ears to hear what I’d know,

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

I’ve been blessed, indeed, the world is mine.

(Note from Joseph Chua: If this poem makes you feel thankful, just forward it to your friends. After all, it’s just a simple reminder that we have so much to be thankful for! Give the gift of love. It never comes back empty!)

***

2. The Benediction by Anthony de Mello, SJ (from Robin Tong)

Today, I choose to pray for others. But how shall I impart to them the gift of peace and love if my own heart is still unloving and I have no peace of mind myself?

So I start with my heart: I hold before the Lord each feeling of resentment, anger, bitterness that may still be lurking there, asking that His grace will make it yield to love someday, if not right now.

Then I seek peace: I list the worries that disturb my peace of mind and imagine that I place them in God’s hands in the hope that this will bring me respite from anxiety, at least during this time of prayer.

Then I seek the depth that silence brings, for prayer that springs from silence is powerful and effective. So I listen to the sounds around me, or become aware of the feelings and sensations in my body or my breathing in and out.

First, I pray for people whom I love. Over each of them, I say a blessing: “May you be safe from harm and evil” — imagining that my words create a protective shield of grace around them.

Then I move on to people I dislike and people who dislike me. Over each of them, I say this prayer: “May you and I be friends some day” — imagining some future scene where this comes to pass.

I think of anxious people whom I know, people who are depressed. To each of them I say: “May you find peace and joy” — imagining that my wish for them becomes reality.

I think of people who are handicapped, people who are in pain and say: “May you find strength and courage” — imagining that my words unleash resources within each of them.

I think of lonely people, people lacking love or separated from their loved ones and to each of them I say: “May God’s abiding company be yours.”

I think of older people who, with the passing of each day, must face the reality of approaching death and to each of them I say: “May you find the grace to joyfully let go of life.”

I think of the young and recite this prayer: “May the promise of your youth be met and your life be fruitful.”

Finally, I say to each of my friends gathered today: “May my contact with you be a grace for all of us.”

I come back to my heart now to rest awhile in the silence that I find there and in the loving feeling that has come alive in me as a consequence of my prayer for others.

***

3. Pointers for seniors on how to grow old graciously (from election lawyer Romy Macalintal, the champion of seniors)

1. After loving my parents, my siblings, my spouse, my children and my friends, I have now started loving myself.

2. I have realized that I am not “Atlas.” The world does not rest on my shoulders.

3. I have stopped bargaining with vegetable and fruit vendors. A few pennies more is not going to break me, but it might help the poor fellow save for his daughter’s school fees.

4. I leave my waitress a big tip. The extra money might bring a smile to her face. She is toiling much harder for a living than I am.

5. I stopped telling the elderly that they’ve already narrated that story many times. The story makes them walk down memory lane and relive their past.

6. I have learned not to correct people even when I know they are wrong. The onus of making everyone perfect is not on me. Peace is more precious than perfection.

7. I give compliments freely and generously. Compliments are a mood enhancer not only for the recipient, but also for me. And a small tip for the recipient of a compliment, never, NEVER turn it down, just say, “Thank You.”

8. I have learned not to bother about a crease or a spot on my shirt. Personality speaks louder than appearances.

9. I walk away from people who don’t value me. They might not know my worth, but I do.

10. I remain cool when someone plays dirty to outrun me in the rat race. I am not a rat and neither am I in any race.

11. I am learning not to be embarrassed by my emotions. It’s my emotions that make me human.

12. I have learned that it’s better to drop the ego than to break a relationship. My ego will keep me aloof, whereas with relationships, I will never be alone.

13. I have learned to live each day as if it’s the last. After all, it might be the last.

14. I am doing what makes me happy. I am responsible for my happiness, and I owe it to myself. Happiness is a choice. You can be happy at any time, just choose to be!

(Note from Romy Macalintal: I decided to share this with all my friends. Why do we have to wait to be 60 or 70 or 80, why can’t we practice this at any stage and age?)

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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