Read this wonderful story today:
On the first day of classes, our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned round to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me. She said, “Hi handsome, my name is Rose, and I am eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course, you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went.
At the end of the year, we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us.
After the introduction, she stepped up to the podium, cleared her throat, and began . . .
“We don’t stop playing because we’re old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!”
“There’s a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything, I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets about what they did, but rather for things they did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.”
At the year’s end, Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to her. She taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.
These words have been passed along in loving memory of Rose:
“Remember growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional. We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
In youth we learn; in age we understand. ~ Source Unknown