Friday, May 25, 2012

Blog 103: Older Americans Month

By Vernon M. Herron

Persons over 65 are called many things; senior citizens, old folks, the elderly, the “has been,” now the month of May has been designated “Older Americans Month.” Recently, my beloved niece, Gaynelle Harris Grier sent to me a humorous song entitled, “I’M A SENIOR,” to the tune of “JESUS LOVES ME.”

1st verse
I’m a senior, this I know; for my body tells me so-
Aches and pain to me belong, head to toe they hurt so long.
Yes, Advil helps me. Yes, Gas-X helps me.
Yes, Ben-Gay helps me; my doctor tells me so.
2rd verse
I’m a senior that’s my stride, on a tour bus I will ride
motel, hotels let us in, I am ready- you say when
Yes, aspirin helps me. Yes, Centrum helps me.
Yes , B-C helps me; my doctor tells me so.
3rd verse
I’m a senior with gray hair, wrinkles, age spots everywhere
In retirement I will spend, time with grandkids with a grin.
Yes, Clairol helps me, yes, face cream helps me.
Yes, Ensure helps me; my doctor tells me so.
4th verse
I’m a senior aches will stay, bladder weakens everyday
I just thank God that I am here. When I pray, here’s what
He’ll hear.
Thank you for Vioxx. Thank you for Depends. Thank you
 for my heavenly home. I’ll be there, You know when.

                                                                    Author Unknown

 Thinking that jabbing me with whatever wounded feelings there may be, Gaynelle also sent a puzzle, “I NEED TO TELL YOU A SECRET.”

1)    I need to tell you a secret (look at #5)
2)    The answer is ( look at 11)
3)    Don’t get mad (look at # 15)
4)    Calm down, don’t be mad (look at 13)
5)    First (look at # 2)
6)    Don’t be mad (look at 12)
7)    I just wanted to say Hi…and I love you.
8)    What I wanted to tell you is…(The answer is on #14)
9)    Be patient (look at #4)
10)This is the last time I’m going to do this (look at #7)
11) I’m not mad when I’m saying this (look at #6)
12) Sorry (look at 8)
13) Don’t be getting all hype (look at #10)
14) I don’t know how to say this (look at #3)
15)You must really be ticked off (look at #9)

Thank you Gaynelle, I love you too.

It is interesting to note how time never stops; it is an aging process for us all.
In the following picture, we see the march of time. In 1956, Gaynelle was a third grader in elementary school. Today she is a wife, mother, grandmother, and a great grandmother.

Gaynelle as a third grader
With the aid of an unknown writer, now let me see if I can put the “Older Americans Month” into a proper perspective. Age is not a time of life; it is a state of mind. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old only by deserting their ideals.

Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair—these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.

Whether seventy or sixteen, there is in every being’s heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement at the stars and starlike things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing childlike appetite for what’s next, and the joy and the game of life.

You are as young as your faith, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. In the central place of your heart, there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage, grandeur and power from the earth, from men and from the Infinite, so long you are young.

When the wires are all down and the central place of your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then are you grown old indeed and may God have mercy on your soul.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Blog 102: Desiderata

There are four documents which have inspired me greatly over the years. They are The Bible, The US Constitution, World Literature and the Desiderata. It is about this latter document which I want to share with you today. Desiderata, (Latin “desired things”) is a 1927 prose poem by American writer Max Ehrmann (1872-1945), largely unknown in the author’s lifetime. The text became widely known after being found at Adlai Stevenson’s deathbed in 1965. For maximum benefit, may I suggest that you read the poem slowly for comprehension.
Vernon M. Herron

Max Ehrnmann

     Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
     As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
     Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.      Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit.
     If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
     Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
     Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
     Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
     Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
     But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
     Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
     And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
     Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
     With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.