Life in the Golden Years: Reflections on kindness

Linda Alessi • Updated May 6, 2017 at 7:00 PM

We, the elders, have the habit of looking back…sometimes too far back. It reminds us of all the past years, the good, the bad and the inconsequential. Our minds have the ability to separate each, and we consciously choose to remember the most meaningful. 

Oh those happy days when as children we only thought of what would please us and fill our wants. If we were fortunate, our needs were taken care of.  We move along to adulthood, parenthood, and sometimes we become a little less selfless and think of others. We tend to fill their needs and wants as best we can.

Looking back can be comforting or painful, depending on our experiences during this period. We cannot change the past, but we can learn by it and make the present a better place for all. Hopefully we still have the time ahead of us to use what we have learned and can impart it to others and by our own example.

It has been my experience throughout my life that kindness has touched me, and I feel compelled to reach out and give what I have been so lucky to receive.  Sometimes it is difficult to be kind to others who are rigid and cold and unreceptive.  Actually these are the ones who need kindness the most.

Our world today is filled with stress and angst.  We see the worst of human behavior at every level. We hear words of hate, acts of destruction with visions of catastrophe ahead. How is it possible to maintain a hopeful attitude and continue to live in such a troubled society?

I can only hope and pray that the human spirit has the ability to rise above all the difficult acts and emotions that are prevalent. Kindness comes to play an important role in how we continue to keep an inner peace and harmony around us. All the good wishes, thoughts, presents are surely a sign of caring for each other. It has to be more that a seasonal occurrence. It has to be a conscious effort to maintain the attitude of hope and show kindness constantly to survive this difficult time of our lives. 

 We, the elders of our society, have lived through times of ill health, losing loved ones and the horrible times of wars. If we have learned nothing through these experiences, we shall fall prey to despair and hopelessness. I truly believe, if we can be kind to each other, it has a ripple effect, and our hearts will not be hardened. I hope in my time, as long as I am able, I will try to continue to be kind to my fellow man.

Linda Alessi, of Lebanon, is a regular contributing columnist. She writes about life in the golden years.

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