When we are children, many of us are asked what we want to be when we “grow up”.  This usually means what we want to be doing for a living or career.  No one seems to dwell on what kind of person we develop into personally, spiritually, morally, ethically.  Yet when the elderly are no longer in the “rat race” of making a living, it is not important what they did as much as what they became inside.  This is not about money; if it were then how a living was made would be the issue.  No, this is about developing character.

Younger people form opinions of elderly by how they go “softly into the night”.  Some do this okay and others don’t.   The ones who don’t talk only of their illnesses and medications are more interesting and fun to be around because they developed interest outside of themselves when they were younger.  So when we are under the “senior citizen” years is the time to find some interest besides oneself.  Of course, it never is too old to do this, but observation shows as we age we seem to loose the ability to change.  Thus one reads: as we grow older the more like our true inner self we become.

This is a scary picture for some to  review because the “true” self is what is inside of someone.  How well does one “play with others”?  Being around the elderly brings out stark contrast in personalities.  It is shocking to see one who manages to be “all about me” all of their decades of living.  These are at the top of everybody’s list of not only don’t want to be but the don’t want to be around.  They are people that make everyone around them have a “bad hair day” or “got out of the wrong side of the bed day” everyday.  There are the ones that seem to see only the negative side of life;  something or somebody is always doing the wrong thing.  These are the elderly no one wants to “grow up” and become.

Observing elderly who are healthy and enjoy their “senior” years reveals there is hope in aging.  Many have made goals to do interests they didn’t have time for when younger.  This is not the only answer to not becoming someone no one likes to be around but if outside interests are truly sought, changes are more apt to soften a person.  One really has to learn not to be selfish and self-centered which may be impossible for some.   So the warning for the young is this: Find interests outside of yourself.  And it’s not following Reality Television!

Note: This is another 30 minute exercise.

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