Today I performed a juggling show at Walnut Grove, an assisted living center. I had a great time, and the residents seemed to enjoy it as well. After I finished my show I stuck around for a while and chatted up perhaps a dozen residents.
One of them was a frail old man who was there because he had had what appeared to be a stroke. He had trouble talking, but he managed to communicate to me his love for cars. He showed me his photo album from the 60’s. I couldn’t believe it.
He was once a muscular man who was clearly DA BOMB. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but he seemed to have had such a strong personality, he seemed to have been so cool that I was able to feel it through the pictures. Now, he was alone, frail, and scared.
Just looking at him filled me with sadness. I could see the frustration in his eyes every time he was unable to express his thoughts. I saw his hands tremble whenever he tried to grab his fork. The worst part was the frightened look in his eyes. It sent chills down my spine. I wanted nothing more than to help him, but I knew there was nothing I could do. At least not directly.
I wasn’t about to let his suffering go for naught. Seeing this man made me think. It’s only been a few hours since I left Walnut Grove, but he’s been on my mind constantly. Regardless of how well I’m doing now, one day I’m going to die. Guaranteed.
One day I’m going to be on my death bed looking back on my life. What am I going to think of my life? What will I care about having accomplished? What will I regret? What can I do now to prevent myself from having those regrets?
I’ve got a lot of questions, but few answers. One thing is for sure, I’m disgusted with how little the average person is grateful for. Maybe if we were a little more grateful we’d be happier.
Stop worrying about what you don’t have and start being thankful for what you do have. You only get one life. Cherish it.
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