I join those who refuse to grow old

Sun Star Bacolod - - Front Page -

EVEN if I al­ready have my dual cit­i­zen­ship, a Filipino and a se­nior cit­i­zen, and en­joy­ing my 20 per­cent Vat-free dis­count card in so many things.

I refuse re­sign­ing my­self into the se­nior years, be­cause it gives me the bad thoughts that my chil­dren will just take care of me while I do noth­ing, or leave me all alone to my wife, or that I have noth­ing to con­trib­ute any­more to so­ci­ety than just en­joy­ing the sys­tem ben­e­fits all for my­self, like reg­u­larly see movie, eat in se­niors­en­si­tive food shops, stroll the parks, or buy lotto tick­ets and have fun over the hope that I might hit a jack­pot.

No, I am healthy, strong and pro­duc­tive.

So for my­self, I con­tinue to shape up, keep strong, ac­tive and pro­duc­tive. I keep few con­sul­tan­cies, coun­sel­ing, train­ing and lec­tures, en­ter­pris­ing works, trav­el­ling, hang­ing around for some light drinks some­times, and mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ing too. I refuse to be stressed how­ever stress­ful my life is some­times. I just en­joy life even if I have to re­main in the main­stream of strug­gles.

In the course of my few con­sul­tancy and en­ter­pris­ing works, I have met so many peo­ple in their se­nior years, ex­cited with life and op­ti­mistic with the fu­ture. They feel like there are still so many things they want to do and learn more.

I have a friend who is in his late 60s and still ac­tive as a big bike rider. He makes long rides ev­ery week with his rid­ers’ bud­dies or alone by him­self. He also make use of rid­ing to do hu­man­i­tar­ian ser­vices in far- away poor com­mu­ni­ties. He told me that he would die to­mor­row if he stops what he is do­ing.

I have an­other friend also in his late 60s. After he re­tired from govern­ment ser­vice, he still con­tinue his old fa­vorite racket, real es­tate bro­ker­ing, and that makes him so busy trav­el­ling around in the is­land and neigh­bor­ing prov­inces. He also makes mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ing as his regular hobby.

Of course, how can I ig­nore a friend who in his 75 years con­tinue to man­age a small eatery. He wakes up at 430 in the morn­ing and do mar­ket­ing, pre­pare the food and na­tive cof­fee with his son, and by 6am he en­joys sip­ping cof­fee while hap­pily serv­ing his regular cus­tomers. In be­tween, he glues his ear and eyes on mon­i­tor­ing hot events of the day, in­clud­ing his idol Yorme Isko Moreno. Late in the af­ter­noon, he starts play­ing clas­sic and old time mu­sic with his big blue­tooth speaker to the de­light of his cus­tomers and friends.

My for­mer boss, pres­i­dent of na­tional mi­cro­fi­nance and de­vel­op­ment com­pany was in her early 70s when she took me in. She was ex­tremely ac­tive that she vis­its reg­u­larly all the branches all over the coun­try, con­duct lec­tures, coun­sel man­agers and em­ploy­ees, lead prayer ser­vice wher­ever she is.

They are so in­spir­ing for hav­ing the vast ex­pe­ri­ence and wis­dom, and yet re­main ac­tive and pro­duc­tive. They don’t sit for hours. They are al­ways on the move. Their life man­age­ment tells us that for as long as we are alive no mat­ter what age, we can be pro­duc­tive up to our last breath.

My wife is older by a year, but many of her friends

say she is as ac­tive as my­self, and she re­fuses to get early re­tire­ment. She wants to spend it to the fullest. And what more, she plans to do bet­ter busi­ness for the fam­ily and even for our kids and apos after her re­tire­ment.

Sin­cerely, th­ese are the peo­ple I love to hang around with. They are not stingy with their life lessons and are full of wis­dom as well, and want to keep pro­duc­tive and ser­vant for oth­ers.

They don’t com­plain, or talk with re­grets how they lived their life, or how many times they fell and stood up, or the medicines they have to take some­times. They don’t keep mis­eries, or mum­ble mis­for­tunes.

An in­spi­ra­tional speaker said that age to­day is no longer just de­mo­graph­ics, it is psy­cho­graph­ics. Yes, it’s true. Many peo­ple in their late 50s and way into their late 60s sim­ply refuse to grow old. They are health­ier, sharp, men­tally alert and ex­cited with life.

The les­son is sim­ple, we have to keep be­ing in­spir­ing for our fam­ily, chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. We have to in­still sense of be­ing and re­spon­si­bil­ity for ev­ery­one.

As par­ents and se­niors, we have to pro­vide for ev­ery­one so long as we can. We should not in­still a mind­set and cul­ture among our chil­dren that when they grow up and get jobs it will be their obli­ga­tions to sup­port us. We don’t even have to de­mand for con­ve­nience.

Par­ents are to pro­vide for their chil­dren. That’s what the scrip­tures say. Chil­dren are to honor and love their par­ents, noth­ing more.

This is why as early as we can in our life, we have to save up for our se­nior years be­cause we ex­pect no one to sup­port us. We rather have the strength to con­tinue sup­port­ing our­selves and oth­ers as long as we can.

So, let us keep be­ing pro­duc­tive and refuse to grow old broke.*

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