Po Lin Monastery
Hong Kong

It’s no use to go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.

Lewis Carroll
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 

Weren’t we all, different people then. We are the sum total of what we’ve experienced through the years. If I think back forty years or even twenty, I’m not the same person I was then. We would have to be without any depth or introspection not be effected by what we have undergone in our lifetimes.

The challenge, I think, is not to focus on the unhappy experiences and let them color what remains of our lives. I, recently, had a conversation with a friend about someone we both know. Her comment to excuse his bad behavior was that he had not had many positive role models and his childhood was not stable. My thought was, “He’s going on 40 years old. When are we going to expect him to pull it together or is the excuse of his unfortunate childhood good for the rest of his life”. At some point we all have to take responsibility and decide how we want to live, today. 

I don’t want of be one of those resentful elderly people who are angry at the world because they are unhappy with their life. You know, the one’s who yell at the neighbor’s kids, are rude to the clerk at the store, want to tell you about about all their aches and pains. That’s not how I want to spend what remains of my life. As we become older, we understand how quickly time goes by. I want to do whatever I can to enjoy ever moment I still have.

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