January 24, 2015

Life Lessons From 2,000 Years Ago

"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.


  1. Wow, from Paul to Jimmy :)

    Well said Bob, now get out and try doing it my friend...

    1. That's the key, right, R.J.? I am reading a biography of Ben Franklin. He had a few appropriate quotes too, but I will save them for another time.

  2. Honesty, humility, harmony, and holding on...the 4 Hs from Paul's passage are what I'm going to remember from this post. One of the best things about getting older, is letting go of pretense. There's simply no time or energy left for it. My favorite people are those who possess those traits. If we have a few people in our lives who will "hold tightly" when the going gets rough, then we are truly blessed. Your Jimmy Carter quote reminded me of my hubby's dad. He's in his 80s, and loves building homes for those in need. The village where he lives builds and donates a home every year, and he can be relied upon to show up and put in more hours than anyone else. It almost seems that God gives him more strength and ability as the years go by! We all have much more to give than we can possibly imagine. God bless you and Betty on your journey.

    1. Jimmy Carer is an excellent example of a man who really found his stride after the high profile part of his life was over. The work he and his wife have done for Habit for Humanity and working for world peace have been truly inspirational.

      Paul was a big believer in perseverance. He endured a lot for his faith and never quit.

    2. Dave started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity here in Cape May. He's really enjoying it, and I think the whole program is wonderful. Jimmy Carter did a lot toward making it happen and globally!

  3. President Carter was paraphrasing John Wesley, founder of Methodism :

    Do all the good you can,
    By all the means you can,
    In all the ways you can,
    In all the places you can,
    At all the times you can,
    To all the people you can,
    As long as you ever can.

  4. Thanks for sharing your faith, Bob. It's important for each of us to find the bedrock that underlies our daily choices and guides our path.

    1. Thanks. Faith is critical to me and how i live my life

  5. Apparently, there are a lot of permutations of that quote. The Teddy Roosevelt version is "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

    That Other Jean

    1. Interesting! I guess like much of life if something works you just keep using it.

  6. Thank you, Bob. I always appreciate your genuine and thoughtful insights. I especially appreciate your statements of faith. You inspire me.