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Today is my birthday. I turned 65 years old.
So I’m pondering whether or not I’m really an old person, senior citizen, aged, over the hill, reaching the end, old gray mare….
Inside is still that person with a sense of humor and tendency towards misbehaving.
I remember my legs taking me up mountains and down paths. They still do only a little slower. I also have some hardware installed in the knees that the airport people just love.
The World Health Organization has set “old age” at 50 years. If that’s so, I’ve been a geezer for several years now. You may be in the geezer club and not even know it.
According to Wikipedia, most Britons consider old age starting at 59. If you’re under age 24, you probably consider 54 to be “old”. 80-year-olds consider 69 to be “old age”.
Signs of old age include physical deterioration. (This old gray mare ain’t what she used to be.) Also, mental issues. They tend to repeat themselves, repeat themselves.
One Egyptian scribe wrote: “O Sovereign my Lord! Oldness has come; old age has descended. Feebleness has arrived; dotage is here anew. The heart sleeps wearily every day.
The eyes are weak, the ears are deaf, the strength is disappearing because of weariness of the heart and the mouth is silent and cannot speak.
The heart is forgetful and cannot recall yesterday. The bone suffers old age. God is become evil. All taste is gone. What old age does to men is evil in every respect.”
Lovely. I never had taste anyway or so I’m told.
And then there’s this lovely diatribe from Shakespeare:
“The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.”
Not quite there yet.
I’m hoping I’m at the age of wisdom where people are in awe of my experience and knowledge and climb mountains to seek my advice.
No, not the same thing as the old hags in folklore who cackle and ask for money to give you what they know.
But then I can always use some money.
Maybe I’ll find a nice warm cave somewhere to live so people can take pilgrimages to visit me and leave me jewels and gold coins for my wisdom. I could share a few words with politicians.
For now, I’ll just tear around in my little red Jeep and frighten the wits out of all the other people on the road. I’ll forget what I went to town for and spend money on something anyway so it isn’t a wasted trip. I’ll wear clothes that are out of style and don’t match at all with ugly sensible shoes.
I’ll take cruises and be an obnoxious tourist.
I’ll embarrass my grown children and my grandchildren with my antics.
I’ll laugh about everything and take nothing seriously and hopefully take some people down that road with me.
And all the while, people will give me a pass because I have gray hair and they’ll think I’m old.
This could be fun.
One of my favorite movies is The Matrix.
The movie takes place in a future time where computers have enslaved the human race making them effectively into batteries. People don’t know they are slaves because the Matrix plants false memories and episodes in their heads simulating real life.
A small group of people have awakened from the Matrix and are trying to awaken the rest of mankind to defeat the computer program slave masters.
Perhaps the most important thought I got from the movie is how so many people live their lives exactly like they are living in the Matrix, without real control of their lives. They wait to be acted on instead of taking action and control of their own lives. They are firmly inside the box and can’t think outside of it.
The hero, Neo, is believed to be THE ONE who will finally be able to pull his mind completely out of the Matrix to control it rather than having it control him. They believe he is the hope of mankind.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the movie
- Morpheus: I can only show you the door. You’re the one who has to walk through it.
2. Morpheus: There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.
3. Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Neo: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no spoon.
Neo: There is no spoon?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.
4. Morpheus: What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad.
5. Neo: What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?
Morpheus: No, Neo. I’m trying to tell you that when you’re ready, you won’t have to.
6. Morpheus: The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
7. Neo: I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid… you’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone, and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you. A world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries. A world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.
8. Morpheus: You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief, Free your mind.
9. Morpheus: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.
10. Morpheus: What are you waiting for? You’re faster than this. Don’t think you are, know you are. Come on. Stop trying to hit me and hit me.
There are some great quotes in this movie that can get you thinking outside the box. How often we let the illusion of what we are capable of cloud what we really can do.
We also let our unseen limitations limit the success we have in life and in our business.
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