Think on These Things: Positive thoughts in a negative world…
When my husband’s Aunt Myrtle was 90, we were encouraging her to spend some of her hard- earned money on things she had always wanted. She said, “Oh, no! I couldn’t do that. I’m saving that for my old age.” We didn’t have the heart to tell her we thought 90 was pretty old. Aunt Myrtle thought old age was always ten years older than what she really was. Overall, not a bad philosophy.
The Bible tells us that living a long life is a blessing (Deuteronomy 5:33). Here are a few who have made major accomplishments in their golden years:
- Colonel Sanders started KFC at age 65.
- Benjamin Franklin helped draft the Declaration of Independence at 70.
- Michelangelo was 71 when he painted the Sistine Chapel.
- Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel at 71.
- Casey Stengel started managing the New York Mets at 71.
- Ronald Reagan was reelected president of the United States at 73.
- George Burns won his first Oscar at age 80 for The Sunshine Boys.
- Grandma Moses didn’t start painting until she was 80.
- Barbara McClintock won the Nobel Prize in “Philosophy or Medicine” for discovering genetic transposition at 82.
- Winston Churchill wrote A History of the English Speaking Peoples at 82.
- Coco Chanel was the head of a fashion design firm at 85.
- Albert Schweitzer was still performing surgeries at his hospital in Africa at 89.
- Pablo Picasso was still producing engravings and drawings at 90.
- Strom Thurmond, the longest-serving senator in U.S. history, was still serving in Congress in his 90s.
- Sadie and Bessie Delany were in their 100s when they wrote Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years.
In the Delany sisters’ next book, The Delany Sisters’ Book of Everyday Wisdom, they advise people to stay active—mentally and physically. It seems to be a key to feeling younger longer.
While the aging process is not all that pleasant, it still beats the alternative. Most of us older folk will probably not swim the English Channel, set marathon records, or find a cure for cancer. However, there is something wonderful in aging gracefully, finding ways to serve others, and living a full, rich life. As Abraham Lincoln said, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8 (KJV)