Age and Happiness
By Catherine Pulsifer, © 2008
Age and happiness, do the two go together?
I know some very unhappy 75-year-old people, and I know some very happy ones as well. In the same vein, there are a lot of 25-year-old people who are very unhappy with their lives, and others who couldn’t be happier.
The difference is not in age, but in their attitude towards life.
My Moms Saying
When I was younger, my mother had a saying she used when I was feeling disappointed, sad, or dissatisfied. She would say: “There are others who are a lot worse off than you.” I can now appreciate how true that saying is.
Take for example, the native people of many of the Caribbean islands. You can drive through almost all of them and without going to far or even out of the cities, you will find people living in squalor or homes that seem to be decaying around them. In speaking with many of these people over the years, it always struck me at how contented or happy many of them were. They did not complain about everything – they only enjoyed what they had and made the most of it. There were people at all ages and even when encountering the elderly, there was a calmness about them that didn’t reflect their age – it was all in their attitude towards life.
There are, unfortunately, a lot of younger people who are unhappy because they do not seem to have a life path to follow that gives them satisfaction, or they do not have the necessary support to build a life that they feel is accepted by their peers. There are too many teen suicides that appear to be the result of the actions of others where demeaning and negative treatment cause them to feel less than worthwhile. The real sad part is that those other people who put them down also have their own self-esteem issues to deal with because they are engaged in a behavior that says the more they put down someone else, the better it makes them feel in control of their own life.
For a lot young people, it is more about feeling in control of their life rather than feeling that they are being cornered or forced to do what others want then to do or be. The challenge for these young people is to first accept who they are, to develop their own respect for their being, and to receive support from their guardians, parents, or extended family. If they cannot find support through these people, they must reach out to others in the community even if that is to teachers, or community groups that are available.
To be happy means that you are also able to value that you already have in your possession. For example, if you have a really good and true friend, count yourself as being one of the lucky and fortunate ones. Not everyone has really true friends in a world where there are countless people there with you in the good times but soon forsake you when things do not go according to what they want and not what they are prepared or able to give back.
It also means that you are willing and able to give to those less fortunate where you are able to help other people feel good – a little smile, a chuckle, a good listener.
Happiness is not about acquiring money or power. Neither of these earthly things mean anything if you do not have an inner self-worth, a detailed picture of what life is and where your position in it give to creating a better world around you. You do not have to have money to make a contribution to society and to help make the area in which you live a better place on earth.
No Matter What Happens
No matter what happens in my life, and no matter how old I am, happiness in life does come down to your attitude towards it.
I recently was reading a book that reflected the thoughts of people who have achieved happiness in their life and the common theme with all of these people is their attitude. They always had a goal, they always looked for the good in every situation, and they always had more they wanted to achieve.
So no matter what your age, young or old, remember it is not your age, but your attitude towards life that will bring happiness.
Always remember age is only a date and you determine your own fate.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
“Throw away any notions that age is related to the inability to accomplish a new dream, or initiating a new quest in life.” Catherine Pulsifer
“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.” Samuel Ullman
“That consciousness is everything and that all things begin with a thought. That we are responsible for our own fate, we reap what we sow, we get what we give, we pull in what we put out.” Madonna
Find More Wisdom About Age in These Poems:
More Than A Number
Poet: Julie Hebert, © 2012
Old age is indicated,
In many different ways.
Some good and some bad,
All look back on great days.
Old age may come with some grief,
Of wrinkles, grey hair and fat.
It can’t compare to what we get in return,
A life filled of everything we had.
With age comes wisdom,
And wisdom comes opportunity.
With life comes family,
And family brings unity.
Unity above all,
Makes life worth,
Every year we have,
Here on earth.
So what if aging comes with,
More than a number.
Wrinkles are nothing,
If loves with each slumber.
For every year,
I place on my life,
Means more wisdom and love,
I’ve had in my life!
Those Who Are
Poet: Colleen Smith, ©2005
To a infant those who are older are security,
or those who are older are our first pain
To a toddler those who are older are givers,
or those who are older are the first taste of life withheld.
To a school age child those who are older are teachers,
or those who are older don’t notice I
To a teenager those who are older are listeners,
or those who are older live our life out of there own regrets
To a young adult those who are older are something we strive to be,
or those who are older are something we want to avoid being
To a middle-age person those who are older are reminders of happy memories,
or those who are older are reminders of painful memories
To an old timer those who are older are where wisdom resides,
or those who are older are a burden and know nothing
To a senior, those who are older are a miracle,
or those who are older are waiting to die
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