One of the things I learned many years ago was to live by the Golden Rule: treat others in the manner in which I hoped they would, in return, act towards me. Looking back on all of the many residents, family members, friends and colleagues I’ve worked beside daily for the past four years, that credo hits even closer to home (as I myself am quickly approaching retirement age).
I have lost almost every member of my family at this point in my life. So, I can appreciate more than most the value of every single moment, and every single day I have to spend with those around me. If I am fortunate, I’ll live long enough to be in a retirement community myself one day. I can only hope that when my time comes, those in charge of my comfort and care will feel as passionately about serving me as I do them today. I hope they too will look at me and value my life experience, embrace my defects of character, and know each of us is a gift to one another. After working with seniors and their families, I feel that I’ve become a much better person in so many ways. All any of us can ever really ask for, is to have the opportunity of enriching and blessing a life on a daily basis. If we take the time, even a few minutes every day, there is more we can learn from our elders than can be written about in a lifetime.
I’m quite fortunate that I can wake up every day and go to a job that provides new opportunities to learn from those I serve. I’m blessed to be living the Golden Rule as best as I can, and can only hope that it will all be paid forward when the time comes!