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Handbook for successful ageing - 8.


8. Deal mindfully with yourself and others

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."
- Apocrypha Tobias 4,6 in the translation by Martin Luther -

"But what you want others do unto you, firstly do it unto them"
- Amendment of Arne Harder -

"I think about you as I wish you will think about me. I talk about you as I wish you will talk about me. I act towards you as I wish you will do it towards me."
- Arthur Lassen -

1. You are an unmistakable human being. Stick to it! You shouldn’t copy others but remain true to yourselves, however always ask yourselves what you can learn from others. The English author Jack Canfield recommends: "Take the world as it is, but stay just the way you are." Accept yourselves how you are. The excellence of the others isn’t the gaining of them, but a gift. Fight against bad characteristics if you find them at yourselves, as about abhorrence of others, addiction of exaggeration, arrogance, arrogance, bigotry, blatancy, boast, carelessness, casualness, discourtesy, disingenuousness, dissoluteness, dogmatism, idleness, immodesty, impoliteness, inappropriate pedantry, inattention, incompatibility, ingratitude, intolerance, irony, unkindness, lack of ability to work in a team, lopsidedness, prematurity, ruthlessness, sarcasm, self-approval, selfishness, superficiality, thoughtlessness, unpunctuality, unreasonableness and unreliability. Ask yourself whereon this or those characteristic is based, so presumably it will be lightened you to turn them to good account.

Don’t be unreasonable also means that you don’t have to follow persistently an adopted way if the conscious or the heart advises you to follow another way.

Do not harm others and do not overcharge others.

But also respect the polarisation of another person. Don’t try to change him, where it isn’t demanded. Probably, it is you who have to change something. Think or talk to friends about it.

"As long as you cannot forgive others being different, you are still far away from the way of wisdom."
- Chinese maxim -

Try to understand the other, also he/she firstly acts inapprehensible for you.

If you want to contribute to a team, you have to act correspondingly. The same is valid for the other one. This does not exclude an appropriate allocation of responsibilities, but everyone has to be prepared to take on tasks and to fulfil them within the agreed period of time.

We know from experiences that many people suffer from senselessness of their lives. Do you have the same problem? Then, you should consult a logo therapist. This is a representative of the Third Direction of Vienna of Psychotherapy, stemming from Viktor E. Frankl. He may not be able to tell you what the meaning of your life is, but he will help you to find it.

2. We all live together in a closely covered net of social relationships. As closer covered it is as much it is responsible for the maintenance of our mental and physical fitness, and the lower the risk of passing away untimely. Listening to the radio or watching TV cannot replace these contacts, as you remain passive while doing this.

We need friends, enemies are responsible for stress. But still we shouldn’t avoid making us them at work or in an organisation if it doesn’t exist another way. Only in this way we will retain a good conscious.

In order to make friends and nurture friendships don’t complain using Max Raabe’s "Kein Schwein ruft mich an" (No-one ever calls me), but call others yourself.

If you live alone and are in poor health or in need of help for other reasons you should build up a network of helpers around you: every person has the e-mail address as well as the landline of everyone else, and if once you should be in need of extra care, the news will make the round and your helpers can plan how they can help you as fast and efficiently as possible. Maybe your nextdoor neighbour has your baby alarm in her apartment and calls your doctor or another doctor in the case of an emergency, and maybe she takes your telephone with her when you have to go to the hospital.

3. "Praise costs nothing" but it requires allowance. Practise with it; because praise, as has been proved, promotes health and you are also happy about praise.

Congratulate someone on a success. If you are open for it there will be many possibilities for it. Try to get such an openness. You will be also glad to be congratulated on a success.

Instead you should never praise yourselve ("don’t blow your own trumpet"), or, as an Arab maxim says more eloquently: "The ones who praise themselves will have to be ashamed", but express your delight in something which you have done and it turned out well.

If someone else helped you with this achievement, you shouldn’t let his/her contribution be unmentioned.

Do not show off to others that you are superior to them but at best be happy about you having better abilities. They are only partially own achievement, while otherwise they stem from inherent characteristics, your upbringing and education.

4. Be friendly to others also he/she is unfriendly. In the long run you will see that your friendliness will disarm him/her.

Apologize yourself for a thoughtless word and try to weight it out if the other say it instead of paying them out in their own coin. Such a "nonviolent communication" (David Servant Schreiber loc. cit.) is demanded for dicipline and care, it will pay off.

5. Don’t criticise where it isn’t advisable because of the intention of the matter. If it is so, you should criticise at least not in public and in a hurting way and firstly, praise what is nevertheless to be praised. Concentrate yourself for the formulation totally of your own feeling - as Servant Schreiber with right advices. Just say "You are too late!", so the other has to fend. If you say in contrast " We arranged to meet us at 08:00 o’clock. Now it is 08:15 and I’m annoyed about it!", so the other has just the change to apologize himself/herself about the delay.

The other way round you should accept criticisme as far as it is legitimated. Think about it before you reject it. This can happen in a matter of seconds. The reason of it is your own internal attitude. If you recognize that you firstly rejected a criticisme without good reason you should tell it to the other person.

You should never fend criticisme by criticising the other, also the criticisme is really legitimated. If you haven’t told it to them untill now it will suffer another delay. Practise it when the criticisme of the other won’t stress you any longer.

6. Do not think that you are infallible but bear in mind that you could also be wrong and make mistakes. Have you realised that you made a mistake which had influenced someone, than say it to him instead of waiting that he will recognize the mistake. As Confucius said: "If you made a mistake and you do not rectify it, you make a second one."

Ask the other for forbearance and practise it yourself also the other confess a mistake. Only in this way you can be sure that the others will be open to inform you and you will be kept of any damages.

Say thank you to the other if he shows you a mistake or a possibility to make something better.

If you put the attention of an employee on a mistake and he is unreasonable and it is possible that it can damage the company you should tell your supperior about it.

You shouldn’t mob soneone! If others do it, tell them that it is improper and you will have to tell it your superior if they don’t break off the mobbing. If necessary you should have the bravery to do it and inform the mobbed person about the results of your efforts.

Also advise suppliers of wrong behaviour and defeets in the company. If this does not help, or if the public is threatened, you should report them, if needs be anonymously, and at the same time inform the press, to force the authorities to act immediately. Courage does not have to go so far that you risk losing your job, but nevertheless you have to prevent the public from damage.

7. From yourself lend your aid to others volenteerly instead of waiting till he/she will ask you. It is possible that the other only has no bravery to do it. There are a lot of possibilities where you have the chance to help. You have to place yourself in the others’ position.

An American study has shown that if you help others, you also help yourself psychologically.

If you were asked for help you should have also the bravery to say "no" if otherwise you would overstrain yourself.

Contrariwise you should have the bravery to ask others for help. Maybe he/she will be kind to help you but he/she hasn’t got an idea that you need it. However, you should not charge him/her for this. If you need an extraordinary amount of help, for example while you are ill, then you should try to split the work between as many people as possible.

8. You should not only ask the others as a act of courtesy about his/her conditions, but only if you are prepared to listen to him/her. Then listen to him/her patiently instead of telling about your own feelings at once. Don’t only listen but listen with your heart as Servant Schreiber formulate it, so that you can serve the other as conversational partner. You should let him/her outtell and at best cut him/her off for comprehension questions. Comfort he/she if he/she is lamented himself/herself. But say never that other people are in a worse situation. Because for him/her, currently his/her own adversity is the biggest.

If he/she wants to describe his/her desease in more details but you have problems to listen to such themes or it would absorb to much of your time, so give him the hint that he have to describe it to his/her doctor.

In appropriate cases try to help him/her with this hint that a recovery can be accelerated with the close purpose to get soon well.

If you know about desease, unemployment or other distress in the other’s family, ask him/her casualty how it is going on with this problems. If you were in a comparable situation and the other has participated on your situation, you should let him/her know when the problem is solved. Don’t share only your sorrow but also your happiness together.

9. The value of our experiences is kept but the knowledge of the human beings is increased constantly in fact perennially faster. We can’t close us for it. Therefore use every opportunity to learn something and keep you in intellectual shape for this purpose. (see also above 5.) Reassure the others to keep it also.

When the wind of change blows the firsts build walls, the seconds build wind mills and the thirds put the sails. (Chinese adage) You should put such sails as possible. If ou haven’t the heart to do it than at least don’t lay bricks. Because today none can afford this anymore. Read and keep in mind the poem "Stages" from Hermann Hesse.

As every flower fades and as all youth
Departs, so life at every stage,
So every virtue, so our grasp of truth,
Blooms in its day and may not last forever.
Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give.
In all beginnings dwells a magic force
For guarding us and helping us to live.

Serenely let us move to distant places
And let no sentiments of home detain us.
The Cosmic Spirit seeks not to restrain us
But lifts us stage by stage to wider spaces.
If we accept a home of our own making,
If we accept a home of our own making.
Familiar habit makes for indolence.
We must prepare for parting and leave taking.
Or else remain the slaves of permanence.
Even the hour of our death may send

Us speeding on tho fresh and newer spaces.
And life may summon us to newer races.
So be it, heart: bid farewell without end.

10. Don’t tell the others, particularly not in a triumphantly way, that you are right or even that you had been again right. That will only put him/her down.

If you have affirmed that you were in right but recognized that you weren’t, than tell the others as well about it.

11. Don’t look away when others are occurred injustice. Rather speak bravely for them, especially for the weaker persons. Only in this way you will rest a good conscious.

"If you see injustice and evil and you do not say anything against it you will become its victim."
- African maxim -

12. Don’t say something disadvantageous about someone, unless you already told him/her it. If necessary and possible advertise understanding for the behaviour of the others by your dialogue partner or look for other apology possibilities.

13. If you just listen to a discussion, and the person with the better reasons is just not able to argument as well as the other one, then you should help him/her.

14. To be more talented than others is not your credit, but a gift. So don’t imagine on this! But your credit can be that you advance your talent and use it for you and others.

15. Tell nobody what she/he wants to hear. If you find a conflict inescapeable because of antiseptical reasons so let it come. A smouldering conflict can be burden you and the other very much. In case of emergency, try to win the other to do a Mediation.

Don’t let someone exploit you, but rather think about all the things which others advise you or ask you to do before you do it.

16. "Don’t run with the pack" but in case of need float with the current.

17. Beware yourself of negative prejudices. Disabled people and other minorities are often smarted under it painfully and the prejudice against them are often unjustified. For example, what a blind person is or is not capable of varies from one person to another. One person looks after husband and children completely independently; in contrast, someone else, who just went blind, can be very much in need of help.

18. If the other is a wheelchair user you should only help him/her if he/she wants it.

19. If the other is hearing impaired but he/she is able to read from the lips, so don’t speak loudly but articulate in a good way.

20. If the other is blind offer him/her help but accept if he/she abdicate it. Bear in mind, when you pass by him/her, or meet him/her at an event that you are able to see him/her but he/she cannot see you.

21. If the other is mentally disabled you should speak to him/her in simple phrases. Don’t address him/her informally if likewise he/she address you informally. Don’t think from beginning what he/she couldn’t do , but be glad of the things which he/she still can do but don’t tell him if he/she regards it as matter of course.

22. If a stroke is hitting you, you shouldn’t ask "why" but ""what for"! It will take a long time till you will get an answer but at any time the answer will be there.

23. Finally, the following poem by Theresa of Avila includes a lot of worth taking to heart also for young people.

"Lord, I feel that I am getting older. I suspect that I will soon be one of the oldest. You also know it. Please protect me for everything which is responsible for the unpopularity of old people.


Please protect me for talkativeness. Don’t let me believe that I have to speak out on everything at every opportunity. Give me the access that I can sometimes be wrong.


Disengange me of the vain desire for wanting to adjust the affairs of everybody. Keep me free of thrusting all the details about my everyday-life upon the others.


Give me patience if someone complains about his/her agony but seal my lipps if I want to extend my own increasing pains and afflictions. And if I still talk about it then let me do it in a way that your gentleness won’t be darken.


Make me be helpful but not busy, thoughtful but not power-mad.

But in the end, don’t let me be lonely. then I will need some friends, lord, good friends. But you know that!


But mainly I need you. Please alter me in your picture, let me be mellowed and be happy for the eternity."





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