Oldies but Goodies: Relevant advice gained from the Nursing Home Experience

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I will try to add another everyday or so but to start of with I will post the five I had already written: 

Oldie but Goodie the first: When thinking about committing to a serious relationship, don’t go for looks or physical stuff. Look at personality. Cause honestly, people get real ugly when they get old. I’ve seen enough old people to know. And you also never know when something could happen and you are suddenly in a wheel chair. If the love was strong enough then it will endure, but if it was based on physicality…you can kiss your marriage goodbye.

Oldie but Goodie the second: Golden Rule…Follow it. Especially when it comes to parenting. Parents, treat your kids the way you want them to treat you cause sooner than you think they will be taking care of you. Neglect them and they are likely to not visit you in the nursing home. And there is nothing lonelier than no visitors. Kids, if your parents are/were good to you, visit them in the nursing home. There is nothing lonelier than no visitors.

Oldie but Goodie the third: Smile. Get in the habit of smiling. All the time. Why? Because it’s awesome. Walking through the hallway of the nursing home I try to make sure I smile and say hello to all of the residents that I encounter. Why? Cause it makes their day! You can just see their faces light up and they flash back a smile which sometimes can be full of food or missing teeth but is still beautiful. And you know what else is interesting? I can come to work tired, annoyed, depressed, disappointed, lonely etc…and walk down a hallway and leave feeling up lifted. So start smiling!

Oldie but Goodie the fourth:Secret to Staying Young. Basically I don’t wanna grow old. I realize I can’t really alter the physical phenomenon of aging (plastic surgery makes you look gross and super zen techniques are just too much work) but I have a great deal of control on how I age emotionally and mentally. Now, I am not promoting immaturity. But I do think we could all use some youth in the way we act and think. So learn to laugh. Learn to cry. Learn to do both at the same time. Learn to not take life seriously. After all, life is a game. And the winner is the person that has the most fun. And everyone knows…young people are better at games.

Oldie but Goodie the fifth: The most basic human desire is for relevance. We need to matter, to feel as if there is a purpose for our existence. It’s what fuels everything: ambition, love, hate, random acts of kindness, random acts of terrorism. We are trying to make a mark and finally kill that little voice inside that keeps whispering “No one cares about you”. Don’t wait until you are too old to start looking back on your life and trying to decide if you lived it to the best of our ability. Start now!

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Love against the backdrop of Hate

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I believe in hate. I mean, I believe in rage, envy, fear, anxiety, stress, apathy, guilt and lust, but mostly I believe in hate. I believe in this crippling, trans-formative emotion that changes normal, decent people into monsters, base creatures lower than animals. I believe in this dark perversion of all that is good in the world; this blind, misbegotten behemoth that pervades our society, our very psyche and that is entangled with the very cosmic dust of which we are made. 
                I believe in this emotion that caused the deaths of countless Jews through the hands of an innocent nation controlled by the charismatic and compelling voice of an egomaniacal tyrant. I believe in the hate that made the American forefathers, grand men and women all I’m sure, beat stripes into the ebon backs of their brothers. This hate that drove them to stain the oceans crimson, and make an ivory highway that spans the Atlantic.
                I believe in that hate, the one that sweeps nations and blinds all, but I also believe in the hate that is not as far reaching. The one that dwells in our schools today. The hate that causes a group of boys, high school students to corner, beat, and rape their classmate with a pipe and render him brain-dead simply because they do not share sexual preferences. I believe in the silent hate of averted and disdainful eyes and apathetic attitudes that are all some students ever encounter when they walk into a school. Through no fault of their own, for some reason or another they are branded as pariahs and are ignored, rejected or outright bullied by others. I believe in the hate that drives these students to end their lives and take others with them.
                Why? Why do I believe in this beastly emotion so rank with death, defilement and misery? Why do I glory in its existence? Because. Because of hate, we know true love. Because of the cold, dark embrace of hate that holds the world captive, the singular mundane acts of decency and love become beacons of light, of hope and of sustenance. Because of the averted eyes and snide comments, a smile can save a life and because of the brutal shoves, a hug can save a school. Because hate exists, normal people can hope that by virtue of existing, of resisting the urge to hate and tear down, we can transcend humanity and for one bright moment, take upon ourselves a sense of divinity. That by loving in a world full of hate; we can become something more than our flawed selves. In gross darkness, the light shall shine brightest. This I believe.