Sunset Boulevad:Walk into the twilight of life with grace

  • Col DS Cheema (retd), Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Nov 15, 2015 09:31 IST
Personality is the first and perhaps the most valuable property any individual owns.

We need not regret growing older, as it is a privilege denied to many. However, there is a definite need for us to re-design and re-construct our lives one more time. Till now most of us have skillfully handled many constraints like professional compulsions, complexities of relationships and scarcity of money etc, but the focus basically has been on making a living. However, sunset years provide us the right opportunity to shift the focus to ‘making a life’. You have the choice of expanding your life by adopting the following simple principles of living during the final phase of your life or shrink it and face untold hardships:

Don’t be afraid to be yourself: Personality is the first and perhaps the most valuable property any individual owns. This property is part of one’s DNA and is shaped by the particular nurturing one receives in later years. Type of personality you own now is the sum total of all the inputs received; as a corollary, no two persons can be psychologically exactly the same as that goes against the laws of nature.

It is human want to be seen in good light by others. But that does not mean that you should try to copy others, but emulating those who are worthy of emulation, is altogether a different aspect. Every one cannot do that some others do, yet every person is capable of shining in some area. If you still don’t know, find out that area even at this belated stage and work on it for the eternal peace you so badly want. You will soon realise that you are better than you think you are. So, love yourself no matter what.

Get rid of the baggage of nostalgia: There can be no reasonably sensitive human being who, at some time or the other, has not carried the avoidable burden of nostalgia. Nostalgia often evokes emotional pain. Most of us love to recall the better times we have had, compare the good old days with our present situation and keep brooding and generating negative thoughts. We cannot afford the luxury of negative emotions at this age. This leads me to believe that getting rid of the burden of nostalgia can do us a lot of good.

Make the most of what you’ve got: All of us have already received so much that asking for more should shame us. Be grateful for what you have. And use the lever of this gratitude to lift you up out of the pit of negative energy.

Be magnanimous and not petty-minded: Only magnanimous persons can lend grace to their lives. For peace and tranquillity, adopt ‘forget and forgive’ policy and not that of levelling out with others. Don’t worry; no one can harm you, but yourself.

Socialise and make friends, but don’t ask for favours: Give your friends and acquaintances the space you expect them to give you and respect their privacy. Don’t embarrass them by making unfair and unreasonable requests if you don’t want to lose them.

Give off as much as you can: Not essentially though charity. There are many ways of helping others. So, whatever you need to do and want to do, do it today. Remember, the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, but just felt in the heart. Bhagavad Gita says, “The most precious gift that a man can give to others is to use his wisdom and skill and compassion to help them in times of need.”

View situations from appropriate perspective A popular saying sums up all, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” So, be who you are, do what you should do and live happily.

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