The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.

Aldous Huxley

Our country’s become longer in the tooth,
with seniors soon outnumbering our youth.
A nation of caregivers we’ve become;
For love and true respect we beat the drum.

A plus with aging is no goin’ to work,
or cultivating some old-person quirk.
And people think that wisdom comes with age;
In their eyes you’re omniscient — an old sage.

Good looks will bring respect, like perfect hair,
and certain qualities set you aglare:
Show deep concern for global climate heat;
Be sad and angry with the migrant beat.

Do you possess a refreshing outlook?
Is it as clear as a flowing brook?
Are you creative in use of new ways,
discarding yesterday’s thoughts for today’s?

As older people, we gracefully claim
the credit often, but rarely the blame,
when our abundant exposure to life
helps a community dealing with strife.

Remaining integrated is our call,
in pref’rence to remain behind a wall.
Freedom to contribute chases wrinkles,
changing them to bright and shiny twinkles.

Suggestions about ways to stick around,
include discussions from the higher ground;
Set up and follow an exercise time;
Enjoy the gentle sounds of a wind chime.

Get a loving Sheltie — shepherd’s dogs;
Quite smart and will enjoy your monologues.
Then again, if you’re past 90, don’t drive,
especially if you want to stay alive.

We all need to feel useful, says our Church;
If you really want to help, stop your search.
Your faith community provides grace
To help the needy through worship place.

The alternative to giving your talent
and your time, is the equivalent
of sitting in your chair
with frowning stare.

That’s like turning the beach over
to the plover.

Tom Lynch
Oak Park

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