There are any number of factors that contribute to a long and fruitful life. Notice that I didn’t just say long. Fruitful has to do with the quality of life that we live and our attitude around continuing to learn and grow are critical parts of that.
As you may recall from a previous post, my Mom died last fall. Recently, as I was going through some of her paperwork, I came across the name and phone number of one of her childhood and lifelong friends. George lives in Oklahoma and I knew he would appreciate knowing of Mom’s passing. So, I called him, hoping he would remember me.
I was impressed. Even though I haven’t seen or talked to this gentleman in decades, he absolutely knew who I was and where I lived. But what was most interesting was what I learned from him that day about the importance of attitude and learning as it relates to quality of life.
George is 88 and was at the bowling alley when I called. Ok, so I was a bit surprised that he is still bowling at 88. But what was more impressive was yet to come. As we talked about his activities, he told me that he had messed up his right shoulder and cannot use it anymore to bowl. At this point I am thinking how I, and the majority of people, would respond if we found ourselves in his situation. I expected him to say that while he has enjoyed bowling, it is obviously time to hang up the old bowling shoes. However, what he told me is that he is learning to bowl left-handed. Now that is a challenge – but at 88 no less.
You see George sees himself as capable of learning something as difficult as bowling with his non-dominate hand. He doesn’t use age or “it’s too hard” as an excuse. He is 88 and alive and still learning and doing. Now that is an attitude that I want to adopt and hang on to!