Growing Old Gracefully

Cecil Willis

We are fortunate to have a goodly number of elderly people as members of the churches. These people can and do add much to our work. The elderly have some burdens to bear that we younger people do not understand. But they can supply us with wisdom which can be gained only through years of life. I recently read the following bits of advice for the elderly which I pass along to benefit and encourage our elderly members. Before many years someone will be passing along such bits of advice to me. But here are some rules for a happy and useful old age:

"1. Guard against sensitiveness. It is mostly an affliction of age. Refuse to be slighted.

2. Do not bewail the fact that you are old. If you were not old, you'd be dead.

3. Do as much for your appearance as you can. Well-kept antiques are considered beautiful.

4. Morals never change, but customs and habits do. Cheerfully scrap a bushel of your old customs to conform to the present, so long as it does not affect morals.

5. Remember that you were once young.

6. No one is ever useless so long as he retains his mental vigor, though he may be physically handicapped. Try not to complain of physical ailments.

7. Learn to be self-sufficient. There may come a time when you will be left all alone.

8. Don't live in the past. Memories are precious to you, but unless solicited, keep them to yourself. Laugh at your mistakes.

9. Believe and live your faith in Christ. There is no situation you and God cannot handle.

10. Be as cheerful as sunshine, and as willing to change, when convinced, as the weather."

May 6, 1971