A Mountaintop View
By Steve Goodier
A police car pulled up in front of an older woman's house, and
her husband climbed out. The polite policeman explained that
"this elderly gentleman" said that he was lost in the park and
couldn't find his way home.
"How could it happen?" asked his wife. "You've been going to that
park for over 30 years! How could you get lost?"
Leaning close to her ear so that the policeman couldn't hear, he
whispered, "I wasn't lost - I was just too tired to walk home."
These bodies become less cooperative as we age. For some, work
becomes less fun and fun becomes more work. One older friend
commented, "I've reached the age where the warranty has expired
on my remaining teeth and internal organs."
But I like the spirit of Charles Marowitz. "Old age is like
climbing a mountain," he says. "The higher you get, the more
tired and breathless you become. But your view becomes much more
Atop the mountain, one has a better view of the world. One can
see above the differences that divide people. One can better see
beyond petty hurts and human fragility. Atop the mountain, one
has a longer view of the past and can therefore understand the
future with more clarity. Atop the mountain, one looks down on
dark clouds of gloom and despair and fear and notices that they
are neither as large nor as ominous as those beneath them would
believe. It is also clearer that however dark they may appear,
they too, are fleeting and will someday pass.
George Bernard Shaw said, "Some are younger at seventy than most
at seventeen." I think it is because they have a broader outlook.
It will take a lifetime to climb the mountain, but, for me, the
view will be worth the journey.
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