This I Believe

Stuart - Ellington, Connecticut
Entered on February 8, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

Aging, Honesty and Wisdom

At fifty-four, my life is much, much better today. To what do I owe this newfound serenity and happiness? Is it because the last, of our four, children left home to attend college this past fall? Is it because a wizard has bestowed me with miraculous wisdom having reached this age status in one piece? The answer lies neither with any magic frog kissing nor wayward magic wands found on my pathway of life.

Here is what I’ve learned. The ability to be perfect is impossible. I always thought that being perfect was the only goal. It’s what my father taught me and it’s what I always strived to be: perfect in sports, perfect in school, perfect in everything I do, and being right 100% of the time. This was the way to live my life, to get everything I wanted, so I thought.

Degrees followed degrees, followed by certificates and awards in my place of employment. Still I felt empty. This was coupled with my need for material possessions: cars, a nice home, and things. No warning buzzers went off as I dove head first into this ill-paved pursuit of happiness. Or was I simply deaf to these sounds, only hearing what I wanted to hear?

As I look back, there were many signs that are apparent to me now. It wasn’t until I recognized and worked on my spirituality that I was able to see these flaws. I discovered that I have to work at being a good example, that this is not one of life’s assurances. Also, I’ve learned that my decisions express who I am as a human being and that each decision should be given its due consideration based upon what I know at that time, rather than what I’ve always done. Simply stated, I can still grow, learn and be the best person possible, regardless of the past.

I’m seeing the effects of this transformation. I receive compliments for who I am today. My children and wife, life’s greatest teachers, are proud of me. I know this because they tell me so. Most importantly, I now understand that I am of the greatest influence to

others when I demonstrate through my actions, rather than through my instructions.

Once I became totally honest with my family, my spirituality, and myself I found the truth. And as nothing is perfect, I’ll continue to work towards being the best example to those around me.