Forgetting is something that most people dislike. It reminds them of growing old. It even reminds them of unpleasant things that can happen to them like Alzheimer's. Not a pleasant topic to consider by any stretch of the imagination. Selecting this topic, I felt, was appropriate. I'm 92 years old and forgetting is a difficulty that has overtaken me. A number of readers who have commented on reading my articles are in the aging bracket too, even though not many at my level.
In an earlier column, I pointed out how my life has contained so many lucky bumps up. Because of space limitations, all my good luck couldn't be included. Growing old, in itself, is good luck as so many, unfortunately, don't have that good luck opportunity.
As a graduate of the University of Minnesota, I was recently asked to make some comments about the process of growing old. The university's Graduate Bulletin would have me send some thoughts in. I've had several of my Telegram articles on this subject, and it prompted me to wonder how you readers think about this growing old; many of you are doing that right now. The Bulletin provided some questions that might help with those thoughts: What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier? What does old feel like? What's the best thing?
Death is not a pleasant subject. It is a subject avoided by most people most of the time. It is not small talk when it affects us or our relatives and friends about the loss of another — a very important and solemn time. Health care professionals seem to agree on the following good examples for a good death: * Pain control and choosing the place of death. * Serenity and peace. * Presence of family and close friends. * Having the time to prepare oneself. * Staying conscious to the end. * Having control over body functions. I use Google for reference purposes often.
Have we become a throwaway society? I saw a collection of throwaway articles along our ocean and large lake shores in a recent newspaper that gave me further thoughts on this subject. It was the enormity of the stuff collected that caught more than my casual attention. As an oldster, I felt that it was primarily the youth segment of our society that was guilty of this charge. It isn't only the dream phone fires, but the continual improvement in gadgets that seem to be the curse of the day. If we can afford the newest one, even by hook or crook, we deserve to have it.
Is anything more important than attitude? My answer is no, emphatically no — a thousand times no. Two friends can receive the same message and react totally different. A fella named, Charles Swindoll, wrote a poem that I've kept to remind me how important attitude is: The longer I live, The more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me, is more important than the past. Than education. Than money. Than circumstances. Than failures. Than success, Than what other people think, or say, or do.
In an earlier column, I pointed out how my life has contained so many lucky bumps. Because of space limitations, all my good luck couldn't be included. Growing old, in itself, is good luck as so many, unfortunately, don't have that opportunity.
This might puzzle some readers who would wonder why anyone should read about my good luck. In my 92 plus years, I've met people who claim they didn't have any good luck; they accomplished it all by their own intelligence, hard work and perseverance. They did it all on their own.
I knew when I came to Superior that I liked small town advantages, even without Dr. John Haugland telling me the University of Wisconsin-Superior preferred professors to live in the state, though a few did choose to live in Duluth. Why? Let me tell you some of the ways that my coming to Superior proved to be a great decision: * Our youngest son, Terry, now a dentist in Columbus, Ohio, spent three years at Superior Senior High, received a very good education and showed some prowess on the basketball and football teams.
American exceptionalism was tied to the idea of “manifest destiny,” a term used by Jacksonian Democrats in the 1840s to promote the acquisition of much of the western United States,...