Very few people after 60 are blessed to have one of their parents and parents in law alive and around them. I am one of them with my father in law and my mother, who are in their 80s. There are some 80+ family friends alive whom I also consider “My Elders”. With “My Elders” around me, life is full of fun and why? The responsibilities are few and the advantages are so many. Check the list –
1) With “My Elders”, I am never a Senior citizen, that keeps the child in me always alive.
2) “My Elders” are my in-house Psychiatrists / Counsels available to me 24×7 to resolve any problems I face. “My Elders”, besides being worldly wise, include retired professionals like a School Principal, a Teacher and also a Legal advisor and therefore, they have solutions for every situation.
3) “My Elders” born before Independence are like my Google search engines for precious life values, pre-and post-independence history, family history, politics, culture, religion, traditions and more, to enrich my life.
4) My father in law though unwell and almost bed ridden has an alert mind and reads many newspapers and surfs most news channels. He keeps me aware of what is happening around and marks articles of my interest. My mother is also well read and discusses articles with me. Thus, I am aware of all the relevant topics, without having to search for them. I seriously believe that if my father in law participated in KBC, he would win.
5) When my learned friends from India and abroad visit me, they make it a point to meet “My Elders” to enrich their own lives.
6) “My Elders” in their late 80s live very disciplined lives, with a fixed time to rest and eat healthy.
7) “My Elders” are the heads of their families and have set a practice that all differences should be resolved through discussions. If there is no resolution, then live and let live.
8) “My Elders” are now almost home bound due to their health issues but they do not hold on or stop family members from going out, traveling or migrating. They also treat their staff like a family and truly live a life of dignity.
9) “My Elders” have taught me the strength of prayers, good karmas, to stay focused on my goals, to be happy and follow the path of truth.
10) Old age health issues are the only thing that tire “My Elders” but they bounce back, due to their strong belief that God decides on life and death and each new day is a bonus from God.
11) I spend a lot of time with “My Elders” and I have learnt 5 valuable lessons from them, i) Live and let live ii) Live a simple but comfortable life with a positive attitude, dignity, discipline and stay focused on your goals iii) Care for your family, friends and staff without compromising on your values and health. iv) God has blessed you with a precious life, so be humble, grateful and happy. v) Death is a reality, so accept the loss of near and dear ones and believe that God is always with you.
* Kirti Mulani