As we age, we all gain different insights. Some we share: how the same things your kids did that made you so mad seem so cute when your grandkids do them; some we keep to ourselves: how many times we have to get up in the middle of the night – and it’s not to check whether the doors are locked.
Hugh Downs, TV personality, shared with Connie Goldman and Phillip Berman for their book “The Ageless Spirit” one of the most valuable insights he has learned: “he didn’t have to hate anybody”. “When I was very young, I had a lot of hatreds that came from fears. Now there’s nobody to fear, and therefore there’s nobody I hate. That’s a great freedom, because hate, as somebody said, is a weapon you wield by the blade, and it just cuts you up. But if you don’t fear, you don’t hate. There’s a great liberty in (that).”
For Hugh Downs hatred came from fear, but it can also grow from anger or feeling injured. And as with our fears, we can let go of our sense of injury or anger by forgiving. And it too can set us free.
Forgiving can free us from our self absorption with past injustices and because we are no longer shackled to the past, we can move forward to a brighter and more positive future. And the beauty of forgiving is that it is about you and not the other. It is within your power to forgive. It is within your power to just let go.
There is a time to forgive, to heal, to move on, but when and how is unique to each individual and may take time to travel the road towards forgiveness. It is a personal choice, a heartfelt choice to forgive and let go without any consideration of the forgiven. It is unconditional and without reciprocity. And as it is important, it is not easy. A Gallup poll found that 94% of the folks sampled said it was important to forgive, but 85% said they needed some outside help to be able to forgive.
Who has touched your soul like a hot iron that you have found so hard to forgive? A trusted friend, a loved one, a business partner, yourself, God?
As part of the Healthy Aging series, this coming Thursday at 1:00, Fern Wilcox from Wasco County Extension will discuss “To forgive or not to forgive: That is the Question”. You will learn that forgiveness is not forgetting, not condoning, not reconciliation nor self-sacrifice and not a clear-cut, one time decision, while gaining a better understanding of what forgiveness is. You will learn steps to forgiveness that may help you along this difficult personal journey. Maybe Thomas S. Szasz’s was on to something when he said “The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.”
This Saturday – which is Oregon’s 150th birthday – starting at 1:30 The Original Courthouse Regional History Forum features John Lundell celebrating the Oregon statehood sesquicentennial with a presentation on Wasco County’s “Three Courthouses: From Statehood to Oregon’s 150th Birthday” (And since Wasco County celebrated its own sesquicentennial five years ago, contrary to the rest of the state, we can all correctly pronounce “sesquicentennial”. Right?)
Providing another opportunity to get out and dance, Steve Hudson is offering Line Dancing at the Center on Friday nights from 6:00 – 8:30. One advantage of Line Dancing is you don’t have to have a partner. You can leave your stuck-in-the-sofa spouse – who can dance but won’t – at home and still have a good time. Or if you are unattached you don’t have to feel uncomfortable walking in the door alone. Come down by yourself or with a friend and dance the night away. The night is open to all ages and there is a suggested donation of $3 for a single, $5 for a couple and $6 for a family.
When Dave Warren and Gordon Macleod approached me about hosting a “Jam and Dance” at the Center on every fourth Sunday from 2 – 5 pm, I thought “why not?” Just bring your guitar, bass, accordion or bassoon and come join the sing around. In addition to the fourth Sundays, The Dallesport Jammers will be playing at the Center on the fifth Sundays. You can also find them playing around the area on the first, second and third Sundays and I’ve been told many times where, but at times I seem to resemble the quote, “Everyone has photographic memories. Some just don’t have any film.”
If you also like to perform solo or just like to listen, Jim Pryts, manager of Cherry Heights Retirement Community and guitar strummer is hosting an “Open Mic Showcase” every 2nd Saturday (the 14th of this month) where acoustic musicians, songwriters, singers, poets and bassoon players can showcase their talents. Call 541-296-6880 to sign up or to find more information.
And there has been a last minute music change. Tonight “The Jazz Generations” will be filling in for the originally scheduled Notecrackers and will also be playing next Tuesday the 17th. We hope to see the Notecrackers back next month. Admission is free but donations are appreciated. Dancing starts at 7:00 and everyone is invited.
Next Tuesday the 17th at 11:00 Dr. PK Swartz will share his story and pictures of his adventure to Antarctica “the coldest, highest, windiest, driest, and iciest continent on earth” in 1960-1961as part of the U. S. Navy’s Operation Deep Freeze. is a fascinating account of creating a livable environment under very difficult circumstances while doing valuable scientific research.
There is more, but there is neither time nor space. So until we meet again, to speak the truth you may need to hold your tongue.
“Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean.” Dag Hammarskjöld
And a different perspective from the curmudgeon, Oscar Wilde “Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.”
Wednesday (11) Taco Casserole
Thursday (12) Valentine Party – BBQ or Plain Pork Roast
Friday (13) Sweethearts Salisbury Steak with Hearty mashed potatoes
Monday (16) Beef Stroganoff over noodles
Tuesday (17) BIRTHDAY DINNER!! Turkey and Dressing
Senior Center Activity Schedule:
Wednesday (11): Seniorcise 9:15; Computer Basics 10:30; “Young at Heart” Serenaders 10:30; Pool 1:00; Strong Women 2:00
Thursday (12): Yoga 9:30; Tap and Clogging 10:00; Wii Bowling Practice 1:00 – 2:00; Pinochle 1:00 – 3:00; MOW Bingo 6:00
Friday (13): Seniorcise 9:15; Learn the Wii 10:00; Pool 1:00; Wii Bowling Practice 1:00 – 2:00; Bridge 1:00; AARP Tax Aide 3:00 – 6:00
Saturday (14): Coffee and Cribbage 9:00; AARP Tax Aide 9:00 – 1:00; MCSC Bingo 6:00 PM
Monday (16): AARP Driver Safety 9:00; Seniorcise 9:15; Quilters 10:00; Computer Basics 10:00; Strong Women 2:00; Wii Bowling Night 6:30
Tuesday (17): AARP Driver Safety 9:00; Yoga 9:30; Next Chapter Lecture Series “Operation Deep Freeze – Antarctica 1960-1961” 11:00; “Yes, You Can Draw!” 2:15; Music “Jazz Generations” 7:00