“Youth is Wasted o the Young”
– George Bernard Shaw
In my earlier days, I couldn’t quite understand the meaning to the saying, “Youth is wasted on the young.” It’s a fabulous time in those early years because you have endless energy, a strong body and supple, fresh skin. The ravishes of time have yet to invade your joints and the only serious medication necessary is an occasional aspirin after a night of too much drinking. The world is there for the taking and everyday there’s a new adventure. The thought of getting old is a long ways off, so why worry.
Then time evolves. The years pass, responsibility gets heavier, children arrive, parents become elderly and you’re forced to think beyond your own needs. You look in the mirror and see the changes daily as life marches on. Your mortality begins to creep to the surface. All this can sound very depressing, but there is a gift that comes with age. It is that wonderful thing called wisdom.
With life’s experiences, you gain the knowledge of what is real, true and honest. You now know what’s important and learn the true meaning of joy – not just fleeting excitement. Love becomes deep and your heart whole. No matter what God puts before you, you no longer fall down into a puddle of exasperated tears of frustration. You have the tools to deal with life’s challenges – and the assurance that in the end it will be okay – because it was God’s plan.
Yes, it would be nice to have it all? Young bodies and lives with few expectations and responsibilities, but now that I’m in the second half of my life and know all that I do, I’d never go back in time. Sure, I’d like a few less wrinkles, but I look at those lines traversing across my face as the road map of a life well-lived and think what a wonderful journey this has been.