By P Chong Thurs 1 April 2010
Chronologically, we can’t help but growing old. We say our children have all grown up and we grow old! Of course, this is nature’s way. However, there’s a distinction between growing old and growing up. The former has to do with the question of physical growth, attaining grey hair, balding crown of head, wrinkling here and there and adding years to our age. As a matter of fact, the years ahead of us diminish with the years behind us.
Growing up means maturing with the years. The Chinese like to say: “I have eaten more salt than you have eaten rice.” Matured age differs from chronological age in that we have learnt from life’s experiences, past mistakes and lessons. Indeed with the passing years we should have a better understanding of life itself, a better insight into human nature; we acquire more understanding of self and others. We become more mellow and less hot-tempered. We attain more wisdom hopefully. But for some of us – do we really change?
It is a curious fact that when we are old and feeble, young ones like to tease us that we are undergoing ”second childhood”. This might possibly be true if with all the years behind us we have learnt nothing. Forgetfulness is forgivable, but foolishness certainly not. With age we should be likened to sage. Foolishness cannot be tolerated under all circumstances.
Experiences are good masters, but we must master the experiences. It is like being forewarned, and therefore we must be forearmed. Like “elders” in the churches, they should have acquired and accumulated vast spiritual experiences to afford them the right and the responsibility to impart and influence the rest of the congregation. Have you earned your right? Are you fit to be where you are?