The Secret to Happiness: Life Advice from Our Elders

“A person who does not have care for [the elderly], that does not treat them well, has no future: such a person loses his/her memory and roots.” These were the words of Pope Francis when he delivered a speech about valuing older people’s love, dedication, and wisdom.

In today’s generation wherein everyone seems to be too busy to stop, breathe, and reflect about things, there are the elderly whom we believe can give us some words of wisdom when it comes to dealing with life’s challenges. As such, we at My Pope decided to go around and ask some of our elderlies about their pursuit to happiness and their advices to those who are currently struggling with rejections. Here’s what they had to say:

 

Sanriago Ner, 80

How do you find happiness and contentment in life?

First and foremost, what is happiness and how do you define happiness? Happiness is not relative nor subjective. If one will define happiness as merely an acquisition of material things and based on his/her feelings, one will always have a problem with happiness. Happiness is not based on outside force nor external situation. Happiness is a choice and decision. If one decides to see the good and choose to be grateful even if the situation is not favorable, that is happiness. Choose to always see beyond the negative situation, this will shape your character and attitude in life. Outlook, attitude, and disposition are necessary elements for one’s happiness. If you have a good outlook in life, gratefulness and contentment will follow no matter what.

What is your advice to the youth when it comes to dealing with rejections?

Rejections are part and parcel of life. You cannot please everybody, you will get tired if you view your existence as that. Let the rejection be your fuel to reach for your dreams and inclinations. They might not appreciate you now but someday history will judge your belief and convictions, and by then, you will be vindicated.

 

Paulina Caraan, 80

Paulina Caraan, 80 years old

 

How do you find happiness and contentment in life?

You can never be truly happy and contented if you keep on comparing yourself to others whose lives you think are “better” than yours. Instead of looking into what you don’t have, try to see what you are blessed with and always be thankful for it.

What is your advice to the youth when it comes to dealing with rejections?

Rejections and criticisms, I consider them as important parts of life. If you use them as an inspiration, they can push you to become better in your work or craft. Hence for me, rejections are opportunities in disguise. As they say, “when one door closes, another door opens.” So never lose hope as each of us is destined for greatness.

 

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Text by Yen Cantiga and Aizel Dolom.
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