How Much Have You Changed?

Nov 12th, 2008 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

How Much Have You Changed? Now that you are 50 or 60 or 70 or so, how much have you changed? Do you still see yourself as you were 10 or more years ago? What experiences, dramatic or subtle, have changed the mold you always saw yourself fitting?

Visiting with my cousin the other evening, an illustration of a common acquaintance gave proof that some people really don’t change their patterns. It was clear that this individual, whom we have both known all our lives, is still acting out and living as if it were 50 or more years ago. No change, no recognition of the need for it. Old prejudices, bitter cynicism are the hallmarks (I question the use of that word) of his life. Just as his outward expressions reveal his inward retardation, he is being eaten alive by a terminal illness. Is there anyway to get through to people who don’t even understand themselves? How can they exercise compassion and care and thoughtfulness for others, if they don’t even see the need for those emotions within themselves?

This is an alert. It is time for older persons, who have decided to live in the boxed-in, never gonna change kind of existence, to either decide to isolate themselves completely or change. Isolation is not desirable, at whatever age. Punishing others by absenting yourself from the world going on around you is only a punishment to yourself. It isn’t the rest of the world that has a problem. It is you!

Resisting change is no indication of brilliance. It is instead, a sign of insecurity, inability to cope, unwillingness to evolve. Do you really want to be the way you have always been? Sounds comfortable, but at last it is an indicator of disconnect. There are a lot of memories and joys from my past to which I cling. But, finally, I know they can’t remain forever a part of my life and being. Right now, I am working hard on eliminating some of the “things” which still hold me. There is a time for letting go.

It may be relatively easy, and certainly inevitable, to have to let go of those “things.” It is more of a struggle to deal with the chains, as in Dickens’ Marley, which enslave us. Maybe, a good read this Christmas would be “A Christmas Carol.” As you read it, reflect on how much like Marley or Ebenezer you have become.

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