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The Rear-View Mirror

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging

I don’t know who to credit, but an intriguing quote showed up on Facebook, “Even though there are days I wish I could change some things that happened in the past, there’s a reason the rearview mirror is so small, and the windshield is so big, where you are headed is much more important than what you’ve left behind.” Life is just like the mirrors; the big windshield of the future ends up in the rearview of the past… and so it goes. What is it about the past that has so much power over us? Sometimes our worst memories get so exaggerated that they are entirely blown out of proportion, blocking our view of life. The rearview mirror has a caution printed on it that says the view is distorted. That’s a great attitude in life…let the past be smaller and further away! At the same time, we may have good memories of the past that drive us backward too. Even good memories can keep us focused in the wrong direction.

As we age, this becomes more and more of a challenge. If we are not looking forward to new challenges, new adventures, we may end up in a wreck! You cannot drive through life effectively looking backward. The windshield is large for a reason. There is so much research that gives credence to the importance of staying active and engaged. The older we get, the real health hazards are not cholesterol and blood pressure but inactivity. Sitting and doing nothing but watching TV is a killer. The metaphor can be extended to speak about actual driving. So many Elders think that when they give up the keys to the car, life ends. Not so! We can have a ‘windshield life view’ that depends on our attitude, not on our ability to drive. When you have the right attitude, there are always vistas ahead.

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