Advice From Life’s Graying Edge on Finishing With No Regrets


ON MARRIAGE A satisfying marriage that lasts a lifetime is more likely to result when partners are fundamentally similar and share the same basic values and goals. Although romantic love initially brings most couples together, what keeps them together is an abiding friendship, an ability to communicate, a willingness to give and take, and a commitment to the institution of marriage as well as to each other.

An 89-year-old woman who was glad she stayed in her marriage even though her young husband’s behavior was adversely affected by his military service said, “Too many young people now are giving up too early, too soon.”

ON CAREERS Not one person in a thousand said that happiness accrued from working as hard as you can to make money to buy whatever you want. Rather, the near-universal view was summed up by an 83-year-old former athlete who worked for decades as an athletic coach and recruiter: “The most important thing is to be involved in a profession that you absolutely love, and that you look forward to going to work to every day.”

Although it can take a while to land that ideal job, you should not give up looking for one that makes you happy. Meanwhile, if you’re stuck in a bad job, try to make the most of it until you can move on. And keep in mind that a promotion may be flattering and lucrative but not worth it if it takes you away from what you most enjoy doing.

ON PARENTING The demands of modern life often have a negative effect on family life, especially when economic pursuits limit the time parents spend with their children. Most important, the elders said, is to spend more time with your children, even if you must sacrifice to do so.

Share in their activities, and do things with them that interest them. Time spent together enables parents to detect budding problems and instill important values.

While it’s normal to prefer one child over others, it is critical not to make comparisons and show favoritism. Discipline is important when needed, but physical punishment is rarely effective and can result in children who are aggressive and antisocial.

ON AGING “Embrace it. Don’t fight it. Growing older is both an attitude and a process,” an 80-year-old man said. The experts’ advice to the young: “Don’t waste your time worrying about getting old.”

Most found that old age vastly exceeded their expectations. Even those with serious chronic illnesses enjoyed a sense of calm and contentment. A 92-year-old who can no longer do many of the things she once enjoyed said: “I think I’m happier now than I’ve ever been in my life. Things that were important to me are no longer important, or not as important.”

Another said, “Each decade, each age, has opportunities that weren’t actually there in the previous time.”

Maintain social contacts. Avoid becoming isolated. When an invitation is issued, say yes. Take steps to stay engaged, and take advantage of opportunities to learn new things. Although many were initially reluctant, those who moved to a senior living community found more freedom to enjoy activities and relationships than they had before.

To those who worry about dying, these men and women said the best antidote is to plan for it: Get things organized, let others know your wishes, tidy up to minimize the burden on your heirs.

ON REGRETS “Always be honest” was the elders’ advice to avoid late-in-life remorse. Take advantage of opportunities and embrace new challenges. And travel more when you’re young rather than wait until the children are grown or you are retired.

As Dr. Pillemer summarized the elders’ view, “Travel is so rewarding that it should take precedence over other things younger people spend money on.” Create a bucket list now and start whittling it down.

ON HAPPINESS Almost to a person, the elders viewed happiness as a choice, not the result of how life treats you.

A 75-year-old man said, “You are not responsible for all the things that happen to you, but you are completely in control of your attitude and your reactions to them.” An 84-year-old said, “Adopt a policy of being joyful.”

The 90-year-old daughter of divorced parents who had lived a hardscrabble life said, “I learned to be grateful for what I have, and no longer bemoan what I don’t have or can’t do.”

Even if their lives were nine decades long, the elders saw life as too short to waste on pessimism, boredom and disillusionment.

Advice From Life’s Graying Edge on Finishing With No Regrets

하나님은 6천년 동안 무엇을 하고 계신걸까

예전부터 가끔 궁금한게 있었는데, 하나님이 태초에 무엇인가 뜻이 있으셨다면 빨리 이루실 것이지 왜 우주를 만들고 지구를 만들고 인류로 하여금 하루하루 밥먹고 일하고 빈둥거리면서 지내도록 하셨나? 하나님의 뜻을 위해 우리네 삶의 그 디테일들이 과연 필요한 것인가? 성경에 기록된 인류의 역사가 적어도 6천년이고, 지구의 나이는 그것보다 클텐데 하나님은 자신의 뜻을 이루시기 위해 이렇게나 많은 시간을 필요로 하시는 건가?
하지만 오늘 아침 연구원 캠퍼스를 걸으며 이런 생각이 들었다. 사람은 하나님이 만드셨기 때문에 결국 사람이 만들어내는 모든 것은 하나님의 생명의 표현이다. 결국 변화무쌍한 이 세상은 하나님의 생명의 풍성함을 표현한다. 하나님이 원하시는 것 중 하나가 자신을 표현하시는 것이므로 약간은 이해가 되었다. 세월이 흐를수록 인간은 이전에 감히 상상하기 어려웠던 것들을 만들어 낸다. 엄청난 기술과 아이디어. 결국 이렇게 오랜 시간이 지나서야 나타난 많은 것들을 볼때, 바꿔 말하면 이런 긴 세월이 지나지 않았다면 그만큼 하나님의 생명의 어떠함은 덜 표현되었을 것이다. 즉 그분의 생명의 새로운 부분이 10년 후에 또 나타날 것이고 100년 후에 또 나타날 것이다. 다시 말한다. 우리는 매일 반복되는 일상이 하나님에게 무슨 큰 의미가 있냐고 생각할지 모르지만, 넓은 시각으로 바라볼 때 이 세상의 변화무쌍함은 하나님의 생명의 버라이어티함을 보여준다 할 수 있겠다.

하나님은 6천년 동안 무엇을 하고 계신걸까

공감의 벽

베플 중: 중요한 건 미친x이라고 발언을 했느냐가 아니라 그런 발언이 나올 수 밖에 없는 뇌구조가 문제라는 거다. 유학까지 갈 수 있는 풍족한 집안에서 태어난 사람은 결국 뇌구조의 한계가 있다. ‘눈물젖은 빵을 먹어보지 않은 사람은 인생에 대해 논할 자격이 없다.’

편의상 엘리트와 비엘리트라고 해보자.

그래, 솔직히 아무리 젊은 엘리트라 해도 자라난 환경이 완전히 다른 비엘리트과 공감하긴 어려울 것이다. 설사 공감할 수 있다고 해도 비엘리트는 그렇게 생각하지 않을 것이다.

그러면 이제 어떻게 해야 할까? 살아온 환경만 가지고 편가르기 하는 건 누구에게도 좋을 게 없는 것 같은데, 어떻게 해야 엘리트는 비엘리트에게 어필할 수 있을까?

“난 너희를 이해할 수 있어.”라고 말하는 것보다, 아예 100% 공감대는 형성할 수 없다는 것을 가정(인정)하고, 다른 방식으로 접근하는 것이 낫지 않을까 싶다. 공감만이 능사는 아닐 것이다. 엘리트는 비엘리트에게 도움을 줄 수 있는 방법이 있을 것이고, 어필할 방법이 있을 것이다. 뭘까?

Update1. 다른 환경에서 살아온 것 때문에 생기는 선입견과 벽은 어쩔 수 없는 것인가 보다.

공감의 벽

Track vs. Trace

“Track” – to follow or pursue. You can track one’s progress and you could physically track them through the woods (follow).
To “trace” is to search by looking for surviving evidence. You can “trace” a picture by putting another piece of paper over that you want to copy and “trace” out the picture.
“Trace” can also apply to finding someone or thing: “I am trying to trace my long lost uncle” – you use past evidence to search him out (old addresses, old friends etc). The police might say “Put a trace on that license plate (use the computer records)”. When they “trace” who owns the car they can “track” him down.

And your explanation is fine, for example, you can “track” someone’s progress through school.

Track and trace are terms we use in business when we are concerned about packages we have shipped.

If I ship something by UPS (United Parcel Service) and I am concerned about its arrival. I can “track” its progress on line. The UPS website will give me real-time status of where my package is.

On the other hand, if I get a call from a customer saying that a package I sent via UPS has not arrived and it has been over a week, then I would ask UPS to trace this package. That is, they will look back over the tracking information and try to determine where the errant package is.

Track vs. Trace