A Celebration of Life by ShareGood Blogger David Weiss
“Life is like an ice-cream cone, you have to lick it one day at a time.”
-Charles M. Schulz (Cartoonist)
Over six million Jews and tens of millions of other people never had the opportunity to grow old. They never had the chance to look back, reflect and attain the wisdom that only comes with spending many years living and learning. In other cases, this wisdom was attained but before it could be fully passed on life was taken from them. It isn’t just Holocaust victims who wish they could know what it feels like to go through the aging process. Many others, for a wide variety of reasons, wish that they could grow older. experiencing the full spectrum of the life cycle isn’t something to dread. It’s something to cherish and appreciate.
Infinite youth has truly become our modern-day obsession. Anti-aging pills, anti-wrinkle cream, testosterone supplements and all kinds of magic answers and potions flood the airwaves and fill pharmacy shelves. From well before the times of Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth, eternal agelessness has been a human obsession. Just as no one has found a way to stop time, no one has found a way to stop the effects of aging. And no one will. So why can’t we celebrate it and make the best of what we are given?
Aging is beautiful. As author Madeleine L’Engle said “The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been”. Aging truly is a building experience.
There is something that seems misguided about trying to look and even feel like you’re 25 when you’re 55. Elective surgeries and “lifts” are commonplace among not just the wealthy, but among all kinds of people nowadays. People are (often times understandably in this crazy world) searching for something to add to their level of day-to-day happiness and to their self-esteem. When they choose this path, they are equating youth with happiness. These two are not, however, synonymous with one another.
Rather than attempt to stop aging, perhaps we should celebrate the engagement and enjoyment of life at all stages and all parts of the life cycle. There are two books that have the age-old mystery of aging pretty well figured out. They give you the keys, not avoidance techniques. Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie” and Jeanine Semon’s” Living Art Living Young” are both a celebration of life.
Morrie Schwartz is a former college professor in the last months of his life. His former student, Mitch Albom, reunites with his former teacher and the book (and movie version) document their time together. This book is a powerful assertion that we’re all in the same boat when it comes to living and dying. Though it’s the story of a deeply important, valuable personal friendship, Albom transmits a series of lessons about what truly matters in life. Morrie and Mitch attack humanity’s big questions, and as they do, it’s pretty much impossible not to start thinking about them yourself. The issues they think through are, in a nutshell, the essence of life itself.
Jeanine Semon’s book is another magical journey as she discovers what has enabled her — in her mid-80s — to feel, and to be, forever young. Jeanine pulls back the curtain and shares her insights into exercise, nutrition, yoga, and more. But no preaching, no over-used clichés and no bold guarantees or promises. Instead, this book energizes the reader and inspires endless exploring and experimenting in life. This book gently and thoughtfully covers all aspects of living: spirituality, education, marriage, travels, as well as her life as an artist. This book is filled with color illustrations, emphasizing the importance of artistry, variety and exploring the world’s great and small wonders.
Each day is truly a gift. Each year is a bouquet of gifts. How many people around the world and in our own community would love to have the chance that most of us have have…to experience the aging process and to ‘enjoy the ride’. There is no fountain of youth, no magic pill. A compilation of wisdom is what we have. And our own ability to keep learning and keep reflecting.
David Weiss was born, raised and still lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Being the grandson of four Holocaust Survivors has always been an integral part of his identity and life. David earned a Bachelors of Arts in Education from Cardinal Stritch University and a Masters of Arts in Education from Viterbo University. He spent eleven years as a second and third grade teacher before starting his own promotions business. David is also an author and teaches at the college level. David and his wife are the proud parents of a six year old daughter.
More from David Weiss HERE.