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Another Trip Around the Sun. What have I learned?

I turn 68 on 7 May. That's a lot of trips around the sun, so what would I tell the younger me?

Sixty-eight trips around the sun, and I am struck by some truths that I have learned.

1.       People walk in and out of your life and heart.  There are people who walk on the stage, play and important role, and walk off the stage.  New people walk in.  Keep your heart open when people leave, because the more people who are in your heart, the more your heart expands.  Only bitterness and regret can make your heart smaller. There is always room for one more.

2.       Persistance and perspective are everything.  Until you take your last breath, no mistake, no failure, nothing is final.  You are constantly writing a life and most challenging experiences are episodes, but hardly a chapter, and definitely not the story.

3.       It is said that the earth is made of things of stardust, and thus, we are made of stardust.  When you feel trapped, conflicted, or small, look at the stars and realize that it is a family reunion.

4.       Kindness is the currency welcome everywhere and every kindness is not a transaction, but an investment and makes you richer regardless of the reaction that the recipient of your kindness may have.

5.       View those who disagree with you with compassion, be willing to listen to them, and try to understand them.  You need not persuade them, you may never be persuaded, but that is not the point.  Through kindness and listening, you may accidentally change the perspective of two persons and improve a little corner of the world.

6.       Sadness and grief are natural feelings, you are certain to feel them, but never be them, never allow them to create a blindness and poison your heart.

7.       Love others for love’s sake alone, not transactionally, but transformative for two solitudes, to bring them together.

8.       If old age confers any wisdom at all, it is the cumulative effect of much stupidity.

9.       Each breath you take is a gift, be grateful and realize that they will end someday.

10.  Children are not just a reminder of what we were, but also of what we can be.

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