Walk Like a Millionaire
My Jewish grandfather was a short, barrel chested man with the voice of a cantor and the tude of an Olympic athlete at the height of his career. In his mid-eighties, he carried himself like a young man. One day, old Ben caught me with my head down, feet sort of dragging. I had just blown a job interview and was feeling sorry for myself.
“Hank,” he bellowed, “Get those shoulders back. You’re way too smart, way too gifted to walk that way. I want you to promise me that you will always walk like a millionaire and let the world know you’ve got what it takes.”
His words, spoken so many years ago, came back to me yesterday as I found myself slouching along musing disconsolately about the state of Hank. Man! I am OLD. Never mind that bull shit about 80 being the new 60. Eight decades is eight decades. I feel those 80 big ones in my bones (and eyes and ears and the “nether” regions of my anatomy) all the time. So is it time to cash in my chips or at least start acting like an old guy?
Get outta here. Rather it’s time to listen to my Jewish grandpa. And pay heed too, to the words of the poet, Robert Browning.
“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”
If my time remaining is short, all the more reason to be up and about. There are kind words to be said; frail older people to be supported; young kids to be listened to. There are old friends to be contacted and people to forgive and others from whom to ask forgiveness. There are smiles to bestow and jokes to tell. There is love to spread around generously. If not now, when?
All of that good stuff is part of life, part of the giving back we all owe for receiving the gift of life. We octogenarians have our assignments and there is no time to waste. A younger generation has a right to expect from us the wisdom we have garnered through our life experience.
My Jewish Grandpa was right on. Now is NOT the time to shuffle through old age as though we have nothing to give. Our riches are within us, wealth that is our privilege to share.
Now is our time to walk like millonaires.