Dan Clark writes in a short story about his experience in college when he met an eighty-year-old student, Rose. Rose was cheery, humorous, and full of life. She was also full of wisdom from her life experiences. Dan Clark and Rose became good friends.
“Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me,” wrote Clark.
Rose’s vibrant personality along with her wisdom did not only appeal to Clark, but she was magnetically attracting attention everywhere on campus. As Clark wrote, “Over the course of the school year, Rose became a campus icon and easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from other students. She was living it up.”
One lesson from Rose that stood out the most to Clark was from her speech at a football banquet. One of the most important point in that speech was: You have to have a dream [especially one tied to a greater purpose].
“You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and they don’t even know it!” exclaimed Rose with the attention of the whole audience.
Rose also noted a second point: When you have a dream and purpose you are striving toward, you should also “laugh and find humor each and every day.”
We need to continue playing in this game of life. This was a third important point in Rose’s speech. “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
We need to continue to get better and better every day in this game of life, I like to add. (Also, it’s more about getting better than yourself - the self yesterday, last month, and last year rather than better than someone else.) If we want to be happy, we need to have progress and not be stagnant.
“If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will [just] turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.” This is how you would become more and more miserable.
Just turning one year older doesn’t do anything. It’s when you change for the better having progress in some area; that’s what you need to do. If you just turn one year older year after year, with no improvement, no progress, and nothing to show for that year, you will not just be one year older, but you will be a little bit more miserable. If that’s the case year after year, the misery will multiply and you will end up a lot more miserable. Also, what you do and the progress you make should NOT be in an area determined by society, by anyone else, or by your ego (which is influenced by everyone else). What you do and your progress should be in an area determined by you and God (and no one else).