Most of us go through life living each day at a time and meeting those conditions that our society demands we observe. Some of us rebel against those demands which do not suit us. This is one reason why some of us spend our lives in the country rather than the towns. Others work to change the demand “from within” while living in the urban sprawl and a third group adapt their lives to meet these demands.

As we age, the desire to rebel diminishes and we “mellow” and most of us become more understanding and tolerant. As this process, and our stay on this planet draws to a close some of us stop fighting completely and simply surrender to retirement. These are normally the older members of society who, for a number of reasons, choose to slow their activities and withdraw from participating in life.

Often this situation is brought on by some external influence and the result can be distressing to both the victim and those closest to them. It could be something quite simple but the effect on the “victim” is profound. Disease is one such situation.

We have all experienced, in life and/or on TV, the scene where the ill person decides to “go gentle into that good night”. This is the time when those to be left behind need to call on all their resolve, lend them love and support and make them as comfortable as possible. Hopefully, with love and care, the victim recovers, but sometimes they don’t and there is little that can be done about it.

In my opinion, the best way to avoid this surrender is to ensure that those people who mean something to us are aware of their value and always have some reason to get out of bed each day. Without motivation and a need to consider more than just oneself, older people become lonely, then bored, then depressed and eventually, they are with us no more.

Examples of the very senior people who respond to such treatment include Bernie Ecclestone who, at more than 83, still travels the World following Formula 1 racing. Less stratospheric in nature are the owners of many small businesses in South Africa who go to work every day and fill the requirements of a full days work. Most of us know somebody in this group and we need to encourage them in their endeavours – limiting them does them no favours.

My Message

To all of us human beings, having a value to those we love and the community in which we live, is essential for our well-being and self-worth. Each of us needs to be able to positively contribute and those of us who are able should act to ensure that everybody with whom we interact realises their personal value to society.

People retire all the time and the potential for starting again is not prescribed by any age factor or other external limitation. Every day we are offered a number of opportunities and it is our responsibility to evaluate those opportunities and choose those which excite or entice us.

Have a good month and always look for the plus way through.