To the editor:
Approaching 81 years of age, I want to share some things I’ve learned along the way that have added to the value and meaning of my life.
Our first responsibility is to ourselves. We need to maintain physical and mental health. If we are sick, distressed or deeply troubled, we can’t help anyone. At a minimum, we should eat a healthy diet, exercise our bodies, educate our minds, conduct healthy personal relationships with others and practice moderation in all things.
We have a special responsibility to our children. We should do our very best to provide them with both a loving mother and father and teach important values of honesty, compassion, respect and hard work. Many serious national problems we have today start with poor or non-existent parenting.
Sex causes babies. It’s that simple. If one does not want or can’t afford to adequately care for a baby, either sex should not occur, or one of the many techniques of pregnancy prevention available today should be used, some which are free. All abortions are a source of great guilt and shame and late-term abortions are grossly immoral.
Spiritual growth and enlightenment, which involves an awareness of a power greater than ourselves, is essential for serenity and fulfillment. This awareness creates a better connection with both our environment and other people. It involves a reduction of the importance of self and includes love, kindness, self-discipline, compassion, respect, and tolerance for all races, genders and beliefs. Spiritual enlightenment can be found through various religions of the world or by communing with the beauty of nature while trying to improve our personal relationship with God through meditation and prayer. I personally find God in nature, supplemented by meditation and prayer. Who can deny the existence of God when enjoying the beauty and serenity of mountains, sparkling streams; the power and majesty of oceans and the splendor of sunrises and sunsets? Who can deny His existence when gazing into the eyes of an innocent, precious grandchild or great-grandchild?
We owe a responsibility to our environment and ourselves to maintain the purity of this beautiful country that God created for us; to ensure clean water and air.
We also owe a responsibility to our country and to the people who have sacrificed so much to maintain our constitution, our capitalistic economic system and our democratic republic. We must maintain our hard-earned freedoms and never sell out to socialism or communism. These freedoms are worth fighting and dying for.
We must somehow eliminate the terrible corruption that currently exists in our government. We all want to work for independence and security in our retirement years. We must guard against greed, however. We must avoid sacrificing our values for monetary gains. Greed is perhaps the biggest problem we have in our country today and we must resist wanting more than we actually need.
Everyone wants a nice, safe, secure place to live. We must support our police officers, and if stopped for any offense, be respectful and cooperative. If we do these things, the possibility of being harmed by police is minimal.
We have a responsibility to keep informed on political issues and vote for people who are going to uphold our constitution and the values we cherish.
If we do our best to fulfill these responsibilities, we’ll feel pride, contentment, self-respect and fulfillment when we begin to battle the frustration, the aches and pains, the depression of old age.
Hopefully, we will sleep the sleep of the righteous, knowing we have done our best to build a better world.