“You don't stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.” -- George Bernard Shaw
I love old buildings. I love their character, texture, individuality. The same may be said of old people, old wine, old paintings and well aged whiskey. Each becomes more cherished, more unique and more special the older it becomes. We ourselves need to age so that we can really appreciate the depth of character that aging brings to our lives.
Some people have yearned to be young forever, and have searched for the Fountain of Youth. Not me. I've been there and done that. In all likelihood if I had an opportunity to be young again, particularly if I could not benefit from the experience of aging and maturity, I would be as impetuous, foolhardy and reckless as I was the first time around.
Of course, there will come a time for all of us, if we live long enough, that we might drool, mumble, grumble and moan about getting old. But while we have some friends, some family and some health as well as our wits about us, let us enjoy our aging process, laughing at our foibles and failings. Let us grow old gracefully, maturing as a fine wine, a premium whisky or a treasured piece of art.
My wish for you is for a long life filled with peace, love and laughter.
Gerald M. Sliva
P.S. If, like me, you enjoy old buildings, please click on the photo of the old doorway to take you to Bob Derksen's website filled with photos of old barns. Enjoy!
"People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges" - Joseph F. Newton
In the throes of heated, confrontational, rude and sometimes downright hateful political campaigns we see candidates attempting to score political points, not by proposing sensible legislation for the good of society, but rather by bashing whomever they deem to be their opposition. Relationships, trust and simple courtesy are annihilated in an effort to become elected, with rhetoric intended to destroy rather than to construct. Then, when the election is over, the electorate is supposed to swallow the fantastic myth that these same candidates will cooperate somehow, to find solutions to the myriad ills of society. Good luck!
In government and elections, as in any relationship, we can not simply turn off respect, courtesy and cooperation to find that they will magically reappear when we need them.
Prior to my father's death he offered his children a choice of several simple mementos of him and my mother. One which I chose, and which now sits on my bedroom dresser is a little framed essay entitled, "The Art of Marriage". I know not who wrote it, but many parts of it can apply to any relationship. I share it now for your consideration.
The Art of Marriage
A good marriage must be created. In the art of marriage the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say, "I love you." at least once each day. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is standing together facing the world.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is speaking kind words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is in never going to sleep angry. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is not only marrying the right partner. It is being the right partner.
It would not be sensible to ask political candidates to declare their love for one another in spite of the fact that they protest that they are devout Christians. And doubtful they will hold hands! They will likely go on serving as a bad example while we try to teach our school children not to be bullies.
Good relationships have to start somewhere. How about at home? When did I last tell someone that I love them and that they are important to me?
Gerald M. Sliva
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