A friend once gave a copy of the following prayer to the captain of the majestic Q.E.II. He framed ii and often showed it to visitors.
It reads like this: “Lord, thou knowest that I am growing older. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject on every occasion. Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs. With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it.
“But, Lord, I want a few friends at the end. Keep my mind from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.
“Seal my lips about my aches and pains. I dare not ask for the grace to enjoy the ‘tales of others’ pains, but help me to endure them with patience. I dare not ask for improved memory, but for less cocksureness when my memory is challenged.
“Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably mild tempered. I do not ask to be a saint — some of them are hard to live with — but a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.
“Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people. And give me, Lord, the grace to tell them so. “Amen.”
– Herbert Prochnow
Aging is an unstoppable process – well, not exactly, it can be stopped by dying. For many that is not a welcome prescription. So the question boils down to “aging gracefully”. Herbert, here, points out the way “HOW” to grow old gracefully.