sobota, 9. júna 2007

GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY, GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL

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THE ROSE
*
The first day of class our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.
She said, "Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?"
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" And she gave me a giant squeeze.
"Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked.
She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel."
"No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
"I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped all of her 3 x 5 note cards.
Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, "I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order, so let me just tell you what I know."
As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old.
If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything, I will still turn eighty-eight. Any body can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change.
Have no regrets. The elderly rarely have regrets for the things we did, but rather for things we did NOT do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets."
She concluded her speech by courageously singing "The Rose".
She challenged each of us to study the lyrics. At the years end, Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.
One week after graduation, Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.
These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.
REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY, GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL


2 komentáre:

  1. Thanks Viera,
    Once up one the time I have such student very old in my class room as professor of history of art on Marion collage in Oxford. She has been about 68 and she has told something like Rose, but I never writhed nothing about my former student. She was the best one in this generation of class 2002-2003, with the nest mar cs.
    Warm HUG..:)

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  2. Thank you dear Anja for your lovely comment...I'm very happy to know it...My exboss is studying now the History of Art regularly even though he'll almost seventy...

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