No. 195



There is an old Hebrew Proverb that goes, "When a man is young he writes songs, grown up, he speaks in Proverbs, in old age he peaches pessimism." To me, this seems to suggest that the older we get, the more disillusioned we become. I'm sure this is true for many people, especially those who have no real purpose in life or financial goals, and wind up after forty years of hard work with nothing to show for it.

Here it might be in order to ask you this somewhat personal question. Are you a pessimist or an optimist? To say it another way, is your glass half-full or half-empty? This is really something to think about, especially in light of what I just said about goals. It's up to us to first decide where we are going, if we are to have any real hope of getting there. As I thought about this, it made me think of something that happened just recently. One of the unexpected blessings I have received in writing this column is getting old friends back together.

A while back I got a letter from Ken Drummond who lives in Durant, Oklahoma and he wanted to know how to get in touch with Bob Spencer, a man I had highlighted in a previous column. It seems the two has worked together in a basketball camp twenty years ago and he had lost track of him. After putting them in touch, Bob Spencer wrote to thank me and he also passed along an article titled, "Age Is A Funny Thing" that had been sent to him by a friend in Texas. It's just a biological fact that we are going to age. It's what we do with our lives while we are here that counts. We can choose to live our lives sitting on the sideline or we can choose to get into the game and really make a difference.

But back to that article, "Age Is A Funny Thing." The author is unknown and it begins: "Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we are kids? If you are less than ten years old, you're so excited about aging that you think in fractions. 'How old are you?' I'm four and a half. you're never 36 and a half--you're four going on five. That is the key.

You get into your teens and now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number. How old are you? I'm gonna be 16. You could be 12, but you're gonna be 16. Then the greatest day of your life; you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. You BECOME 21...YES! Then you TURN 30. What happened here? Makes you sound like bad milk. "He turned; we had to throw him out. 'What's wrong? What's changed? You BECOME 21; You TURN 30.

Then you're PUSHING 40..stay over there. You BECOME 21; you TURN 30; you're PUSHING 40. You REACH 50. Then you MAKE it to 60. By now, you've built up so much speed, you HIT 70. After that, it is a day-by-day thing. You HIT Wednesday. As you get into your 80s, you HIT 4:30. In your 90s, you start going backwards. I was JUST 92. Then a strange thing happens, if you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. I'm 100 and a half.

While reading this article I'm sure you picked up some of the terms we all use when discussing our age such as 'gonna be,' 'turn,' 'pushing,' 'reach,' 'make it,' 'hit,' and 'just.' As I leave you I'm going to share something that applies just to us fellows. It's been said that if we live long enough we all go through four stages. No. 1 When we believe in Santa Claus. No. 2 When we don't believe in Santa Claus. No. 3 When we are Santa Claus and No. 4 When we look like Santa Claus. Take care. After a dose or two of Geritol, I'll be ready to go. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)