“They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing.”
On the 9th of this month as I sat in a taxi in Kuala Lumpur, the driver had lots to share with me. It was the Election Day there and the man was angry with his government and the corruption his country had been going through for years and yet was hopefully happy that the polls held that day would bring a clean change with the new Prime Minister. He proudly showed me his coloured finger to state that he had voted for transformation.
Mahathir Mohamad, who had once ruled Malaysia with an iron fist from 1981 to 2003 had now got a comeback by a commanding majority to the opposition. His second innings today, is no ordinary success story because he is the oldest elected leader in the world at the age of 92.
This just proves that age is only a number, which we need not keep concentrating on. In fact as we grow older we must be happier that we have the capability to give up silly distractions which would otherwise eat up a lot of our precious time in all their immaturity. We must be proud that our grey streaks can help us to focus on things valuable to us and others.
I happen to be acquainted with an octogenarian who is battling his way through cancer with a smile. Unlike an otherwise youthful man he does not spend time worrying about his future though he is all by himself. He is a ripe bachelor and has no family to love him back or miss him. But that does not deter him from being happy. He believes in dealing with what has happened rather than being stressed about it. He is an educator in real life, who has taught me that I can choose to adapt to any situation; seen or unforeseen. He has taught me that I have a choice to be knocked down by things happening to me or to stand strong and face them boldly. This is a lesson in adulthood; it’s not about what I can achieve when I grow old but what I can accomplish because I choose to reach it in spite of my age. It’s a different vision of the whole dilemma which makes it into a possibility of overcoming the hurdle and collecting pleasant cookies of a new understanding.
Mr. Maathir Mohamad’s success today teaches us that we need not bury our passions as we age; but instead, we can reinvent ourselves in a better light of newness. He has taught us that our life is a product of what we make of it and that we can add pages of new brands into it.
Ageing therefore, can be made beautiful with new moments of opportunity and vigour and less of dwelling in regrets. It’s good to remember your birthday but as Satchel Paige would ask, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” In 1959, this baseball player’s mother announced to a reporter that her son was 55 rather than 53, and that she was certain about it because she had written it down in her Bible. Paige wrote in his autobiography, "Seems like Mom's Bible would know, but she ain't ever shown me the Bible. Anyway, she was in her nineties when she told the reporter that, and sometimes she tended to forget things."
Wouldn’t you call that the spirit of youthfulness?
Picture Credits: Google