“Sir, come this way please. You are in the wrong lane. That is reserved for the seniors.”
Recounting his story to the group, we pressured him to admit to saying that he was thrilled.
The extra glitter in his eyes, the pulling back of the shoulders accompanied by flexing of the chest muscles, and the smile that he was trying his best to contain were all dead giveaways. He definitely was.
Who is immune to receiving such a compliment? How does one come across as being younger than his or her age? A friend summed it up very aptly, “It’s the energy!!!” While being outwardly physically fit is a factor, it’s the vibe that one exudes that makes people look beyond. Quite sure that you are rapidly getting acclimatized to the use of acronyms, I thought of indulging in some mental calisthenics by associating the letters in the word energy, with observations made of people who personify youth.
E—Enthusiastic. One friend shared that there are days when she can’t wait to get up in the morning excited for what needs to be done, and what will come next. Upon asking what it is that keeps her running at maximum speed, this was what she shared, “I am responsible not only for my employees but also their families. My sense of accomplishment comes from knowing that I have somehow played a part in uplifting their status in life. Providing employment is the perfect opportunity for them to learn and value themselves and the work they do.” She ended up by saying that she now has a better understanding of how it is “to teach a man to fish.”
N—Noble. This word is a personal favorite and is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideals.” People who walk on the right side of the road choose to do so because they know that their actions can greatly impact another. Truly joyful people are recipients of the unforeseen benefits of doing what is right, for the good, and what is fair for all. While there may be no visible halo around their heads, they have that certain glow from being lit within.
E—Exuberant. Excitement is a feeling that is highly infectious, most especially if induced by finding and having a selfless purpose. It is responsible for that extra bounce and spring to one’s step that enables a person to move forward and continuously look outward. Sister Vilma, my 76-year-old friend, a Carmelite nun, is my ideal human prototype. Most likely, through the process of osmosis, when in her company, one unconsciously gets to imbibe her unique brand of quiet and peace. Petite and seemingly frail, she never fails to keep in step with her younger peers, and in many aspects, can even outpace them.
R—Resolute. People who are determined, are generally men and women of action. Goal-oriented, they are constantly on the move and waste no time in being idle. Create a list of things to do whether routine or seemingly inconsequential. This is of tremendous help in summoning up the needed energy to accomplish the task.
G—Generous. ”If I had so much money I would be able to help more.” How many of us have said those very words? While it’s incontestable that having money is a major determinant of how fast things can get done, this should not be a rate-limiting factor for it extinguishes the more significant contributions that one can make, if he chooses to. People who leave indelible and lasting impressions and help define the word are the ones who have made excellent use of borrowed time to share their expertise, God-given talent, and the very best of what is within themselves.
Y—Youth-full. One of the best ways to relearn to appreciate life is to be with children. They are the masters in teaching us how little one needs to be happy. People who constantly tap into the child within know of the inexplicable magic of having a sustained sense of curiosity and wonder in the ordinary. These are the people who show us that the luster of youth can never be diminished if one exercises to keep things interesting and fresh.
The feeling of being old will always surface in whatever stage of life you may be, most especially in moments of physical, mental, and even spiritual exhaustion. No one is ever spared from being caught in such situations. Instead of choosing to be a victim, turn it around and engage in a completely selfless act. Be the sunshine or the solar wind for those who are running on empty.