Unfortunately, a small percentage of those who live this long will develop a condition that we call senility. According to the dictionary this word means, “Mental and physical infirmity due to old age.”
I thought it was interesting that the words senility and senior were listed right next to each other. There is a popular saying that is going around these days when older persons make a mistake or can’t remember a name or what day it is, we just say they had a “senior moment.”
Awhile back a friend sent me something titled, “The Senility Prayer” which is a takeoff on the well known “Serenity Prayer.” I might add that this friend is over 80 years of age and has a great sense of humor. While you know that I would never make fun or even light of someone who is weak or frail, the ability to laugh at ourselves is one of the things that keeps a lot of us going. And so it is in this spirit that I would like to share “The Senility Prayer” and I hope you will see the humor in it. I might add that I don’t know who wrote this thing, but it looks like the author may have stayed up all night.
It goes like this:
“God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones that I do and the eyesight to tell the difference. Now that I’m older, here’s what I’ve discovered:
“One, I started out with nothing and I still have most of it.
“Two, my wild oats have turned into prunes and All Bran.
“Three, I finally got my head together, but now my body is falling apart.
“Four, funny, I don’t remember being absent-minded.
“Five, all reports are in. Life is now officially unfair.
“Six, if all is not lost, where is it?
“Seven, it is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
“Eight, I wish the buck stopped here; I sure could use a few.
“Nine, it’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.
“Ten, the only time the world beats a path to your door is when you’re in the bathroom.
“Eleven, if God wanted me to touch my toes, He would have put them on my knees.
“Twelve, when I’m finally holding all the cards, why does everyone decide to play chess?
“Thirteen, it’s not hard to meet expenses ... they’re everywhere.
“Fourteen, the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.
“Fifteen, these days I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter ... I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I’m here after.”
When it comes to the subject of old age, I don’t know about you but I thank God that we live in the greatest country in the world where medical science and technology have made it possible for more of us to live longer and feel better than ever before. There is no way to know for sure, but I would probably not be sitting here looking at a computer screen as I write this column were it not for the development and production of cholesterol-lowering drugs several years ago. Same for the bypass surgery that I had back in 1995.
From my perspective, I want to live and stay on this earth as long as I can be productive, be in control of my faculties and make a difference in the lives of other people. Being alive, being free and having good health is the greatest blessing, in a physical sense, that any of us can ever have.
Someone once said, “Nobody grows old by simply living a number of years. We grow old when we desert our ideals.”
I hope you will spend a little time thinking about your own life, your age, your circumstances and what you hope to achieve in the time that you have left. It’s my personal belief that we should be prepared to die, but be ready to live. May God richly bless you.
(Editor’s Note: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. He may be contacted at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)