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This is something we should all try to remember.

A 92-year-old, small but well-poised and proud man, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock with his hair fashionably combed and his face shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.   As he maneuvered his walking frame to the elevator, I provided a visual description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on his window.

‘I love it,’ he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight year old having just been presented with a new puppy.

’Mr Jones’ I said, ‘you haven’t seen the room yet; just wait’.

‘That doesn’t have anything to do with it,’ he replied.  ‘Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time.  Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged … it’s how I arrange my mind.  I already decided to love it.  It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up.  I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.’

As we arrived at his room he took a seat, gave me a wonderful smile, and said ‘each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open I’ll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I have stored away just for this time in my life.  Old age is like a bank account – you withdraw from what you’ve put in.  So my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories!’

After I’d settled him comfortably he looked at me and said ‘I’d like to thank you for your part in filling my Memory Bank – I am still depositing’.

Remember the five simple rules to be happy: 

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

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