Wise words from 2 men I admire; one downsizing, one my Dad.
I had the pleasure of being in the company of a truly inspirational 91-year-old gentleman, living in Northwood and looking to downsize his family home. He has the energy of someone in their 70’s and even looked it!
It was a privilege to hear him talk about his experience of having to leave Germany, during the Second World War, at the age of 10, along with one of his sisters. His parents had escaped to Turkey and then eventually made their way to the USA. Unfortunately, however, they could only take one of their three children with them and had to make that painful decision. As a parent myself I could not help but feel their anguish.
He came to Britain with his sister, and they were both placed in separate Jewish orphanages in Manchester. When asked how you cope with such loss and heartache, he replied
“You must never give in to negative emotions. Find the stamina within you as that is where the answers lie. Plus find a purpose to focus your dreams on and do not be dependent on anyone. Never hold on to anger or bitterness, as it will destroy you. And lastly, possessions are nice, but they are immaterial, and everything is in-permanent.”
Such wise words.
His focus turned to making money and bettering himself. He succeeded and ended up working in the stock market. He also talked about his struggles and how the war had affected his relationships with others and how he had built a wall of protection around himself. He eventually managed to reunite with his parents, but their relationship was never the same.
He did get married and had two daughters, but one died twenty years ago. His wife had a stroke two years ago and currently resides in a care home. He is now faced with living alone once again; he is still determined to never give in.
Having good health both mentally and physically makes all the difference. Life can be so cruel and unpredictable, but we must not forget that our actions and how we deal with situations has a ripple effect on everyone and everything around us. So whatever adversity is thrown at us we must always act out of love, compassion, and kindness to each other.
Whatever race, gender, or religion we are all the same and have the same emotions.
“Treat others as you would like to be treated and never judge anyone” is what my Dad used to say, for however big or small their problem is, it is still significant.