The first guest on the Jay Leno show last night was a 100 year old woman who played the harmonica. Jay said he intentionally had her as the first guest because…she was 100 years old…and might not last if she were to appear second. He did hold her hands as she carefully navigated the two levels of stage, but once she found her seat next to his desk the woman was a spitfire. Her joy and attitude about life was infectious. She listened carefully when he asked a question (I’m not sure how much of that was poor hearing or simple respectfulness), and quipped her responses with confidence. When Jay asked the secret to her longevity, the lovely woman said she did not leave her bedroom in the morning until she had performed 200 reps on her rowing/cycling machine. She believed in having a positive outlook, and had enjoyed a long and loving marriage to a guy she’d had her eye on from the first time she spotted him. In addition, she could still rip the metal off a harmonica when Jay asked if she’d play a little something. Everything about this woman was affirming and inspiring.
Compare that with an observation I had this morning. I was entering the grocery store parking lot when I noticed a woman pulling out of a space not meant for the way she had parked. As she tried to merge into the driving lane another vehicle cut her off and swerved around and past the situation. The poorly parked woman was clearly at fault, yet she rolled down her window and defiantly waggled her middle finger at the passing driver. I wondered how long her perceived slight—even though she had created the problem—would fester in her day.
Nobody knows how much time he or she has on this earth. Why spend it in anger and finger, um, pointing. Given the choice, I want to have the 100 year old’s attitude. Laugh. Love. Live with zest. Harmonicas optional.