Life can be tough at times. I know that life can knock us into the dirt. But, I also know that life can be joyous, worthwhile and rewarding if we knew how! Let us see what our three centenarians can offer us on how to take this journey we call life.
Today, Monday, 27 May, is a public holiday in Britain. As usual I came down at dawn. Wow! What a beautiful day. Birds had got up before me. They were singing their heads off. The Sun was rising and the sky was full of beautiful colours. I put the kettle on and made my tea. Went to the garden and watered our beautiful roses. And then, turned the computer on. I usually get some lovely and inspiring emails from my friends all over the world. Today was no exception. A very dear friend from California had sent me a very nice video about the incredible life journey of three remarkable centenarians.
Whilst having my tea, I began to watch. It was wonderful. It made me laugh, it made me cry. It reinforced me to think, reflect, wonder and ponder, about this journey we call life.
You know, I love stories. I love to hear stories and I love to tell stories. So, I very much love to share their stories with you. Please make time today and watch it. You will be happier for it.
Then, I want to share a few further relevant stories with you. You will see them at the end of this page. I very much wish that you will enjoy them too. So, there you have it. First, the video:
‘Life Lessons From 100-Year-Olds’
‘We asked three centenarians what their most valuable life lessons were, and also their regrets.
The conversations that followed were remarkable. They talked about the importance of family, people, relationships and love. Their view on life, as an elderly citizen with a lot of experience is truly an inspiration and motivation.’
‘Age is just a number, and this is clearly evident in the lives of the three centenarians interviewed in the LifeHunters video below. Each has his or her own story — Clifford Crozier, born in 1915; Emilia Tereza Harper, born in 1913; and John Millington Denerley, born in 1914 — but you'll notice a certain "je ne sais quoi" that they all seem to share.
Positivity and strength are certainly apparent, along with a will to live and a continued interest in and curiosity about the world around them.
Even as times changed, these people kept on living, adapting to and welcoming the new phases of their lives. It's this fortitude and emotional resilience that has likely played a major role in their longevity.’
Check out this incredible video where they share what they’ve learned, what they regret, and their advice for a long, happy life.
Watch it and enjoy it. Truly remarkable.
Hope you enjoyed watching the video. And now, a bit of follow up from me:
In these troubled times let us be ordinary and enjoy the simple pleasures of life
The secret to happiness? Contentment!
The Gift of Retirement is 'A New Lease of Life': A View from Morocco and Lebanon
Composing a New Life: In Praise of Wisdom
And finally, a reflection from the beautiful Island of Crete, Greece.
My wife and spent a most beautiful month in Greece in April and May. First, a week in Athens, and then, three wonderful weeks at our Hapimag Resort in Damnoni, Crete. We were also blessed further, when, our younger son, daughter-in-law and grand daughter joined us too. What a blissful times we all had in Crete.
Whilst in Crete, I sent three emails to my GCGI friends and colleagues, reflecting on my time and feelings there. I received many heartwarming replies. Therefore, in conclusion, as they also reflect well on the gems we heard from the centenarians in the video, I have copied those emails below for your reflections too:
Hello from Crete and small, simple pleasures of life (1st email, 5 May 2019, at 5.33AM)
Greetings and love from the very beautiful and lovely Island of Crete, Greece. In the last week or so Annie and I have been traveling in Athens and a couple of days ago arrived here in Crete. Very beautiful, warm and blue skies and calm seas.
Whilst travelling, I picked up, once again, a fascinating book I have been reading. I cannot put it down! I want to read it again and again. And knowing me, I cannot settle until I have shared it with you.
Given the short term tenure of life, and the littleness of human existence, why is it that we spend so much time and effort on things that are not really important?
Our collective model of a good life tends to focus exclusively on material side of our existence, whilst ignoring the more important side, namely, the spiritual aspect of our being.
The biggest tasks of civilisation is to teach us how to better enjoy this journey we call life and this is why the book I am reading again and again- Small Pleasures- so beautifully fulfills that function.
Please click on the link below, go to the bottom of the page and see more about this book. Get the book and read it. You will not be disappointed, believe me.
Up at Dawn (2nd email, 14 May 2019, at 4.12AM)
Greetings and love from the loveliest Island of Crete.
You know, about 20 years or so ago going through some challenging times in my life, a loving friend, a wise teacher, encouraged me to get up early in the morning, at dawn, just before the sunrise. He told me Kamran, you will see a different world, a better world, a kinder world, a healing world, at that time of the morning.
You will see the clouds dancing, the birds singing, the sky changing. You will see the dawn of a better life.
WoW! How wise and correct my loving, wise friend has been, I must say.
I have been getting up everyday at 5am, doesn’t matter where I am in the world. And I have never looked back.
Today sitting in the balcony of our apartment here in Crete, surrounded by the most beautiful sea and mountains, waiting for the sunrise, listening to the birds, watching the light clouds dancing, I thought it makes me even happier sharing these feelings with you. See the link below, a chapter from my favourite book, Small Pleasures.
On Sunday Mornings (3rd email, 19 May 2019, at 6.22AM)
Greetings and blessings to you all from Crete on this beautiful Sunday morning.
I don’t know about you, but, I, for one, am so much yearning for the Sundays we used to have in Britain, which very sadly we have lost.
You know, being from Britain, the land of 24 hours shopping, where everything it seems is about monetary values, shop til you drop, production and consumption, trade and such likes, I thought its the same here, in Crete too. But what a shock I had!
Last Sunday we needed a few items, this and that. Off I went to the nearest small town. But everywhere was closed, like it was in Britain all those decades ago.
I saw families going to church. I saw families going to the seaside. I saw the baker and his wife, their children and grandchildren having a picnic together. The sound of their laughter was so joyous to hear. They were all having a blissful day.
I can remember what it was like all those years ago in Britain. After my marriage to Annie in 1974, and becoming part of my new English family, we, too, had all those lovely moments, going to church, meeting family and friends, grandparents, grandchildren, aunties, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Going to our local, a pint or two, here and there, playing a bit of dominos, and then, Sunday roast with all the trimmings. Good times to be had by all. Those beautiful and blissful Sundays.
These days, Sundays are not the same as before. They are another day, like the previous 6 days before it.
Horrible, Godless, spirit less, right wing, neoliberals, with no humanity, wisdom or principles, started to mess up with God’s day in the 1980s. They said, Sunday must become an economic day, people going to shopping malls, eating Big Macs and Burger King, with litres of fizzy drinks. This, they told the nation, is good for them and the economy!! Making us all great again!!
A crucial part of the pleasure of Sunday morning is our awareness that it’s a distinct, unusual time. I hope, one day, once again, we may be able to feel that pleasure again.
Please look at the link below, a beautiful reflection on Sunday mornings, a chapter from Small Pleasures:
And then please see still the link below, on how we may be able to regain the joy of Sundays once again:
PS: Today, this Sunday, I am very happy. Annie and I have our younger son, daughter in law and grand daughter with us. I don’t need to go for last minute shopping. We are preparing breakfast and then a lovely lunch later. The sunrise is stunning.The blue skies and the calm seas very inviting,...What more can I say, but, thanking God for all his blessings on this Sunday morning.