We all grow old: What Will or Should Be on Our Minds?
Life is a One Way Trip; What should we do with it that really matters?
I was in my 40's before it dawned on me that there is no 'reset' ... ooops, screwed up on that; Where is the reset button so I can get my health/life back? Crap ... that's only in games on my computer!
Damn ... wish I'd figured that out earlier! ... might have done some things differently ... or not at all!
Best thing I ever did, and it was entirely intentional, was to become a parent!! My parents enjoyed doing it, even though my two sisters and I presented some frustrating 'challenges' from time to time!
My father taught me, or tried to, many things as I grew up ... but I knew better ... I was young and he was "old" ... what the hell would he know about MY world; "today's" world?
Turned out, over the years, that he knew a hell of a lot more than I thought he did. Honestly, I experienced many occasions when I had to admit (being honest with myself) and HAD to accept that my Father's advice was right. Hindsight is always 20/20 as they say.
My Father taught me, by example and otherwise, what a man must do ... the stoic, hard-working things of a husband, Father, provider and protector. I grew up feeling safe, confident and also 'vulnerable' to accepting and adopting the wonderful examples of my other parent ... my Mother.
She made it easy for me to learn about the power and benefits of love, nurturing and compassion ... things of equal value, importance and meaning to the strong, stoic and persistence lessons from my Father.
It was easy to see that, because each day was a new example from them for me to see ... Love for each other, working together and making sure we, the kids, were healthy, safe, loved and fed with good quality food ... no matter how difficult to do so at times. But they did it.
Those were the 'every day' lessons by example. But there were other lesson-examples from them ... less tangible things from times before I was born ... things I had to learn by reading & studying history because they didn't talk much about those times ... and that passion for history remains with me to this day.
My Grandfather spent the remainder of WW2 in a concentration camp ... not because he was Jewish, Gypsy or anything else the Nazi occupiers of Denmark disapproved of. He was interned because, as a police chief, he refused to order his constabulary to assist the Nazi roundup of "undesirables". ("deplorables" in more modern parlance!)
My Father was a member of the Danish resistance (as a teenager!) and was part of smuggling Danish Jews out of the country to neutral Sweden. Clearly he had bigger things on his mind than the latest gadgets or sneakers ... unlike today!
My Mother, some years younger than my Father, was a young girl who was often ushered into underground shelters in London during bombing raids ... not knowing if the home she ran from would still be there afterward.
Having said all that ... what's my point?
Simply this: Mothers, Fathers and History.
If you have no family or history to be proud of; What do you have to guide and motivate you? What 'compass' guides you? Who's compass guides you instead and is it a good compass?
My Parents taught me ... there are no "free rides" ... they proved it.
And when your 'life-train' pulls in to the final station ... what side of the tracks will you, your legacy and your history be on?
Will you be remembered as a 'compassionate patriot' ... or a 'self-serving coward'?
You chose ... it's your life to make or waste when the curtain comes down after your performance on the stage of life.