I have to pinch myself when I realize that I’m now old enough to have seen cassettes, eight tracks, vinyl records, CDs, Beta, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray, iPods, and Netflix. And so, I must ask myself, how do we grow old without growing cranky? How can we skip geezerhood altogether?
The older people I admire have a good sense of humour, the ability to never give up, to live for something that will outlast them.
I love success stories from the young. Mozart composing at 5. Bobby Fischer winning chess championships at 13. But many accomplish remarkable feats late in life.
At 75 Nelson Mandela was elected president of South Africa in that country’s first election open to all races.
Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t publish her first book until the age of 64. Little House in The Big Woods was the first in a series that became so well-loved that it was adapted for TV and began airing in 1974. It’s still in syndication to this day. She wrote the last book in the series These Happy Golden Years at the age of 76.
Reminds me of Psalm 92:14, “Even in old age they will still produce fruit,” the King James Bible says, “they shall be fat and flourishing.” I like that.
In the pop music world, the young and beautiful thrive. To hit 35 and look like it is a grievous error for a pop star, so they lift, nip, tuck, colour, and inject, hoping to stay young, or at least to look like it from a distance. Perhaps that’s why millions are transfixed by a video clip of an unknown, plain-looking 48-year-old who stepped onto the show “Britain’s Got Talent” and brought the house down with her rendition of “I Dreamed A Dream.” In just three weeks, the video was downloaded more than 180 million times. Susan Boyle went on to sell twenty million records, or whatever they call them now, crediting her faith in God for giving her the strength to overcome a difficult childhood, learning disabilities, and the death of her mother. “Faith is the backbone of who I am,” she told reporters.
Susan’s performance reminded us that we’re not too old to use the gifts God gives. So, whether you’re ten or 110, you can bring joy to others with an encouraging word, note, or song. Feel free to record one for me. We can listen to it on cassette, 8-track, gramophone, Dictaphone, SOS, or ham radio.
Want to read more from Phil?
I’m sure you’ve never complained, but we all know people who have. Here are a few of my favourite complaints….
Each morning three-year-old Ray asked his mom to pin a bath towel to the shoulders of his size two T-shirt….