Friday, February 2, 2007

Old People

I was a nurse aid for several years. I worked in nursing homes, so I've gotten to know a lot of old people. I have noticed a few things about different types of personalities.

The overwhelming majority of people who live long lives are happy people. Not happy because they've lived so long, but they've lived because they're happy. There were one or two who seemed to be willing themselves to live for the sole purpose of making everyone around them miserable, but they were few and far between.

Most of the people I've known in their 90's and 100's are the most warm, happy and generous people I've ever met. Many of them have lived through poverty, illness, the loss of loved ones and their own deteriorating health, and they still had enough positive energy left over to make me feel good, even on a really bad day.

Other than their personalities, these people had very little in common. Some were poor, some were middle-class, some were black, some were white, some were really smart, others were not. Most of them had children, and a slight majority of them were women.

So the moral of this story is that what happens in your life does not impact you nearly as much as how you choose to deal with what happens in your life. I think that a person's quality of life, generally speaking, is 80 percent attitude and 20 percent circumstance.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about a few of these people.

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