One aspect of wisdom is the deep understanding that we are all in the same boat….

DEALING WITH CHANGE

“An older man is walking down the street, and he hears a voice saying, “Psst, could you help me out?” He looks around, but he doesn’t see anybody. Again he hears, “Psst, could you help me out?” He looks down, and there is a big frog.

A frog

He’s embarrassed— I mean, you don’t talk to frogs. But he says, “Did you speak to me?” And the frog says, “Yeah, could you help me out?” “Well, what’s the problem?” “I’m under a curse. If you pick me up and kiss me, I will turn back into a beautiful maiden, and I will serve you and cook for you and warm your bed, and I will be everything you ever wanted.”

The man stood there for a little while. Then he picked up the frog, and he put it in his pocket and walked on. After a while the frog said , “Hey, you forgot to kiss me.”

The man said, “You know, at my age I think it is more interesting to have a talking frog.”

The nature of aging has to do with change. Old age trains you for change— change in your body, change in memory, change in your relationships, change in energy, change in your family and social role— all leading to death, which is the big change in our lives. You can see this last part of your life, the age stage , as a diminution. On the other hand, from a spiritual standpoint, many of these aspects are sensationally great. The clamor of the ego calms, your motivations become clear , and wisdom begins to come forth. Wisdom is one thing in life that does not diminish with age. Wisdom is learning how to live in harmony with the world as it is in any given moment. One aspect of that wisdom is the deep understanding that we are all in the same boat. Out of that comes compassion— compassion for yourself, compassion for others, compassion for the world…”

 – Ram Dass, from Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart

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