Once Upon A Time!

Living is no different at the end of life than at the beginning. Light a match-stick and watch the flame’s brightness. Though it gets smaller and smaller, the flame continues to be bright until it’s over. It’s the same with life. Life can shine brightly at every moment until it’s over. As children, we had optimism, love, curiosity, joy, humour, music, learning and playfulness. In old age, we fear aging, retirement, inactivity, isolation, illness, loneliness and disease. But we have a choice. As we age, we can be cheerful, joyful and more loving in spite of set-backs and tragedies.

Ancient cultures like the Atlantis, Egyptian and Chinese, have searched for the ‘fountain of youth’ which has proved to be an exercise in futility and a gold-mine for quackery. The Spanish explorer, Juan Ponce de Leon claimed that he could rejuvenate old men with pills made from monkey’s testicles. He became very rich, very soon, by making a monkey of his clients. But how is it any different from today’s Botox or Collagen injections?

Last year, a molecular scientist claimed that by removing a part of the brain which stores memories, you can stay younger, longer. Oh my God!  What a tall and ridiculous claim. What you remove a part of your brain just to become more youthful? Would you like to erase a part of your memories? Wouldn’t that be surrendering your personality? And which part of your memories would you erase? The memory of the first time you fell in love? The first time you became a parent? The grief-filled year you spent when your spouse died? In removing your good and bad memories, you may also remove the small section of your brain that recalls the smell of the first rain, of roses, of coffee or the memories of your first kiss.

There is no cure, pill, ointment, potion or lotion for the fountain of eternal youth. Instead, see the value and victory of all the good and the bad things that happened to you. Be grateful for the years that have passed and graceful in each promising year ahead.

It is rightfully said, “Most of us die before we are dead. And what kills us is this terrible weight of all this unused life that we carry around.” So you see, mere physiology, biology and chronology do not govern age. There is another more poetic and precise dimension of age – the state of your mind. Inside you, immaterial of age, are qualities of joy, love, laughter, abundance, gratitude, excitement and peace, all given by God. These are gifts to be cherished, developed and enhanced, not discounted, diminished or denied. What you were once upon a time, as a child, you are now.

There is unused life inside you. Don’t extinguish it, don’t let it weigh you down and don’t let it make you old. We can all be so much more than what we are. Our good qualities, talents and extraordinary humanity is as individual as it is universal. Review your life and then, renew it. Be in the company of friends who cheer you up. Avoid people who depress you.  Get out of your chair, your house, your humdrum ways. Meet people, share stories. Live your days in optimism, always believing that the best is yet to be. Be in a state of childlike joy and take delight in your work as well as your play. Learn, laugh and do it every day, everywhere, with everyone. Make your own happy ending, everyday! Don’t look at the negatives in your life – we all are fighting some battle! Be happy now! Feel good now! That’s the only thing you have to do. If that’s the only thing you got from reading this article, you’re already on the right track.

No one else can dance your dance. No one else can sing your song, no one else can write your story or live your life! Look at the positives. Redeem and revive the child within you, all the good within you. As long as you are alive, why not live life to the fullest? Why not be the best version of yourself? Why not live to the highest point of sheer joy as you did when you were a child once upon a time?

Ruby Lilaowala
Ruby Lilaowala

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