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I do have some wisdom to share. I focus on what I can do given my age and condition in life.

Recently I am enjoying watching a series on Netflix about Wisdom, vignettes about men and women around the world and the struggles they faced in life. Pope Francis supplies the commentary. I admire him very much. None of my struggles comes close to what they have endured in real life.

My Dad's motto was "Act, don't react." That maxim has served me well also. But I do have some wisdom to share. I focus on what I can do given my age and condition in life.Rivera

"Know your own needs and limitations." Everyone has specific gifts and talents to share. I can be nearby and listen when others have health issues, but I am not a medical person. Listening is a gift in itself. I can check in with friends and neighbors. I eat as healthy a diet as I can afford, work and exercise daily, reserving time for reflection. But it is important to share my own failing health with appropriate people, not just everyone. I can offer a donation of money, or food, or serve in the venues for the homeless. But I can't supply them with housing. I can help with funeral receptions, or assist with visiting the dying. I know how hard it is to stay to the very end.

But few can do that.

"Unasked advice is a waste of breath." I can be kindly and welcoming to families in church or supermarkets with young undisciplined children, but my advice is not sought or needed really, although I raised kids and taught school for many years. Better I just give them space and time. I can foresee difficulty in relationships among younger persons, based on my intuition or experience, but it is best I withhold advice unless asked, blessing them on their journeys in life.

They understand their personal conditions from their perspectives. It is important to be positive, because no matter how terrible events seem to be these days, they have been worse. It will all change yet again, because everything "comes to pass." As an older person, it is my responsibility to sign a Health Care Directive and make my wishes clear to relieve others of responsibility or sense of guilt. I can give enough attention to the current political situation to vote with care for the future, to work towards justice, which I may not see, but others surely will.

"Do/be/have what gives you joy." I forgive everyone everything so my heart will be light then let the rest of it go. It's all dust in the universe.

Mary Jean Rivera is a member of the Jottings group at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center.

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