"Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves.
If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Bless those who persecute you. Live in harmony with each other. Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And, don't think you know it all."
If the above sounds a little familiar you are right. I didn't write it. It is a section from Romans 12 in the Bible.
Now before you wonder what is happening to Satisfying Retirement, rest easy. My faith in God is an important part of my life and I read the Bible most days. But, this blog isn't about to start quoting the Bible on a regular basis or preach to you. It did seem to me, though, that those few sentences from Paul are excellent guidelines for my life and might work for you, too.
A Satisfying Retirement is really the result of everything we have learned throughout our life: all the lessons absorbed from mistakes and missteps as well as from successes and achievements. It is taking what we have learned in school, from books, from whatever our belief system is, and from family and friends.
It is an attempt to make the most of what time we have on earth: to maximize our potential, use our skills and talents to benefit ourselves and others in a positive way. It is to leave a legacy of purpose and truthfulness, of dependability, and honesty.
A truly Satisfying Retirement is not a selfish period of life but actually quite the opposite. I believe it is when we have the time, the maturity, and the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others and the world in which we live.
Romans 12 gives some pretty clear guidance to help me on that journey.
"My faith demands I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference." This quote from President Jimmy Carter nicely sums up what I want my life to be for this phase of my existence.