Age Gracefully
(The Freeman) - February 17, 2019 - 12:00am

A man exclaimed, “If wrinkles shall be written, it should be written in my forehead not in my heart, because I want to stay young forever!”

In one of her birthday celebrations, actress Sofia Loren was asked by a reporter on how old was she. Sofia curtly answered, “Sweetheart, don’t destroy the evening, just enjoy the party.”

A woman in her 80s never realized that she was that old, until one day while finding her way for a seat on a jeepney, the conductor told the driver, “ Wait! The old woman has not found a seat, yet.” She was taken aback and asked her grandson who was seated beside her, “Am I that old? That’s what I’ve heard from the conductor.”

In her book, “ Enjoy The Sunset, “ author Evelyn Miranda-Feliciano, points out that growing old is the product of time, and there’s nothing much that we can do about it.”

Russel T. Hitt, long- time editor of “ Eternity Magazine, “ observes that some people are old already at 40, while others feel young at 90.  He says, “We are wholistic beings. If our minds and hearts are stimulated, even if our bodies are affected, ‘Shalom’, a sense of wellbeing affects us, especially if we walk in fellowship with the living God.”

Feliciano emphatically insists that to age well is to live well, while still young. Thus, growing old involves all that we are: body, mind, and spirit. Regardless of the changes that we go through and the prejudices that we may encounter, ultimately, it is up to every growing person to define himself or herself.  It is in our hands to decide to age well at whatever point in life we are.

We may not be able to stop the hands of time, but we have the option on how to grow old gracefully. Feliciano suggests the following:

• Keeping the spirit alive and lively would mean learning something more functional. Try your hand on a hobby that you adore, like painting, gardening, engaging in sports, going to the gym, and other activities that may cater to your whims and caprices.

• Exercise the mind.  Reading, for instance, opens a window to the world.  It affords us extreme diversity and exhaustible riches. It is a challenge worthy of spending time because through reading good books, our small corner of the world expands tremendously. It will broaden our horizon, enrich our sensibilities, change our thinking on some issues, and most likely, make us a better person.

• Nourish the spirit. Bertrand Russel, a scientist-philosopher  confessed, “ The love of God, if there is God, would make it possible for every human being to be better than living in a Godless world.” And this is what we all need to grow old well and gracefully. A God-nourished person has a happy and a thankful heart.

• Meditation. Standing, feet comfortably apart, hands on the sides. Inhale and exhale deeply, and slowly, mentally visit the different parts of your body, from head to toe, greeting each , and say, “How are you?” Inhale and exhale 15 times. You’ll feel good when you are done.

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