What Changes Would You Make?

May 5th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Over the years, as opportunity has permitted, a compelling question has generated some very probing insights into the character and persona of a number of older acquaintances, not to mention myself.

The question is: “if you had your life to live over, what changes would you make?”

Replies range from “my life has been complete, I would change nothing at all;” “where do I start and how much time do I have;” “I couldn’t improve on perfection;” “mostly everything;” “does that include appearance?”

Somewhere in the range of these exclamations and hundreds of others lies the practical and on target reply. My reply, over the years, to those who say “nothing” is to suggest “you must not have learned very much.” Life, after all, is a classroom.

Seventy years, that proverbial three score and ten, allows for attending a lot of life classes. Almost everyday is, or may be, chock full of educational possibilities for the growing mind and the declining body.

Some days lessons are discovered through regret, inappropriate choices and behaviors, spurts of anger, motivations created by emotional maladies, stupidity, ugly dispositions, and so the list grows and goes.

But many days are days that come with the tutoring of experience and wisdom and sorting out what is a better course to take. Even slips of tongue teach us well. Learning boundaries in relationships, honoring the sensitivity required in encountering others, enlarging your own sharp insights, finding ways to escape falling into traps, listening to yourself before you speak, hearing others as they speak, smiling generously, embracing the schoolroom of the world.

The lessons are there. The book is an enormous volume, forever being written, the tools are eyes and ears and less frequently lips and tongue.

What changes would you make? What grade would you give yourself for each day? What willingness is there to engage in the discipline of changing? What bad habits are you willing to forego? What enriching wonders would you be willing to greet?

Start tomorrow or immediately after reading this. Ask, “what change am I willing to make?” Start with one, add others. Keep a list. Check on your own insight and progress. You may be pleased that the clay of your being is still pliable.



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