From a friend...very inspiring!


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Posted by Upasaka Jotiphala (144.132.196.137) on October 31, 2000 at 14:05:54:

Hi!

A great reminder to live life on the Dream.

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us
to get to know someone we didn't already know.

I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I
turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a
smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, "Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old.
Can I give you a hug?" I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course
you may!" And she gave me a giant squeeze.

"Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked.

She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married,
have a couple of children, and then retire and travel."

"No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to
be taking on this challenge at her age. "I always dreamed of having a
college education and now I'm getting one!" She told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a
chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three
months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always
mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and
experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily
made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in
the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it
up. At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football
banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and
stepped up to the podium.

As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by
five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned
into the microphone and simply said "I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up
beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back
in
order so let me just tell you what I know." As we laughed she cleared her
throat and began:

"We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we
stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy,
and achieving success. "You have to laugh and find humor every day.
"You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so
many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!"

"There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If
you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one
productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven
years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn
eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or
ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in
change."

"Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we
did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death
are those with regrets."

She concluded her speech by courageously singing "The Rose." She
challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily
lives.

At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all
those years ago. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her
sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to
the
wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be
all you can possibly be.

If you read this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your
friends and family, they'll really enjoy it! We send these words in loving
memory of ROSE.

Remember, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY, GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL.

Gyalsang


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