Seniors: Humbling Experiences As We Age

May 27th, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Having little to no control over circumstances in one’s life is a very humbling experience.  It is also insulting and denigrating.  Arriving at an age when having achieved some maturity, that maturity is challenged, leaves us with a sense of reduced importance.  Many of us have had positions which allowed us respect and dignity.  As age takes over, some of that is surrendered to stereotypes and slurs.  But, more than that aging allows us to understand how growing older creates the necessity for humility.

If you have been one of those caught in the deadly spring tornado rampage, you are aware of your inability to control Mother Nature.  Storm shelter installations are on the rise.  Discovering what you can do to increase the odds for survival is a very wise and humbling experience.  You are admitting that it takes more than your wits to outwit disaster. 

Finding yourself in the hospital after an unexpected accident, physical downturn, or sudden attack, e.g. stroke, heart attack, et al, is a very humbling moment.  All of one’s plans must be altered and quickly.  Many of one’s habits require evaluation.  Hope for a competent physician and medical staff reigns supreme. 

Recently, a good friend fell in the night on his way to the bathroom.  He managed to get relatively immedate attention, was admitted to the hospital on a Saturday night and had surgery the following Monday morning for a broken leg.   At 89, all the signs were good, his health was excellent.  On Tuesday, late afternoon, he died.   Suddenly and with little warning.  Humility gets little chance to be expressed in such a whirlwind experience.  Humility had to be exercised long before this moment.  Making plans, getting all the necessary arrangements in place, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s are all requirements as we age.  Humbling, indeed.  Smart? Absolutely. 

Humility is not an indication of weakness.  It is an indication of  being in touch with reality.  And, unless one is demented beyond repair, it is a sign of one’s ability to cope, adjust, adapt to whatever may come. 

Equipping oneself with whatever may come is an individual responsibility which requires personal initiative.  Help may be requested and secured.  Nothing wrong with that.  But, getting in touch with one’s own mortality and all its implications is the surest way to relieve anxiety.  So, get ready.  Start now.  Introduce yourself to humility.  Convince yourself that being humble about who you are and what your future holds is a major indicator of strength and wisdom.  Be smart.  Be cool.  Be ready.



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