January 7, 2011
A word of caution . . . you can take it from one who knows. This is the only time we have — not as a nation, not as a race, but as an individual human being.
Why such ominous sounding statements? I will tell you.
When you have reached a certain age and realize there is no way you have more days ahead of you than behind you, it is the inescapable fact that all those mistakes you think you made in this journey called life cannot be erased.
I am sitting here in my studio in New Jersey on this cold, dreary January day. I look at a nearby mountain of snow and I see putrid flurries of snowflakes seemingly suspended in mid-air.
I decide I need another sweater and another cup of hot coffee, and I try not to think of why I am here and not somewhere more appealing and exciting. I could go on and on . . . but let me try to share some of my experiences with you, if for no other reason than it might make me feel a little better even if it doesn’t help your disposition.
As a young boy I often wondered as I looked at old people, what are they thinking? Do they know they don’t have too many more years or months or weeks or even days left? Do they look back on a period of their lives when they were the happiest?
Or, do they do what an acquaintance is doing when he tells me, whenever I encounter him, how he wishes he done this or that; when he wallows in self pity for all the mistakes he made and how life has cheated him of his due?
He tells me he had some great ideas at the advertising agency where he was one of the top executives, but he didn’t come forward with them in time to be acknowledged as the originator. And, someone who was more energetic and less hesitant beat this guy to the punch.
My acquaintance (I think we use the term friend too gratuitously) went on to tell me of many episodes in his life where he missed the boat. Instead of enjoying some of the success he has had in life and some of the money he was able to retire on, he becomes more bitter by the day because he looks back at all his so-called failures.
He is the same guy that told me years ago, “Bob, I take it one day at a time.” He reminds me of those guys who talk a good game at Alcoholic Anonymous meetings and then don’t really walk the way they talk.
Speaking of A.A. meetings, when does Glenn Beck get time to go to any? But, getting back to this bitter fellow who cannot enjoy anything he has nor anything he has accomplished, I thank him. I thank him because if it were not for him, I could not see myself.
It is true that it is much easier to see our own shortcomings in others than we can see them in ourselves. But, if we don’t like what we see in others then let us examine the only life we have to examine and that, dear FRIENDS, is our own.
I was told many years ago that the only person I must get to know is myself, and that is not easy because we must work hard to be really honest.
Aren’t you glad you are a reader of BobGrantOnline.com so you can read this column?