Mark Van Doren
Positive Inspirational Stories
Positive Featured Inspirational Story - October and November 2013
No Barriers in Life
I volunteer at a Mental Illness Drop in Centre in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. Next to the drop in centre, there is a Men's Shed, where men who are mostly retired come together to do wood work and metal work. It is also a place where these men meet and bond.
I sometimes wander into the Men's Shed to say hello to some of them men, whom I now know on a first name basis.
Just recently, I went to the Men's Shed and noticed a new face. He was a short and slim elderly man, with grey hair pulled back. So, I decided to introduce myself, and we started a casual conversation.
It was a cool summer afternoon. Melbourne had been hit by a heat wave for days, and it was the first cool day of the week. So we sat outside to enjoy the cool south westerly breeze. The old Tasmanian oak outdoor table we sat at was rattling a bit, but the white plastic deck chairs felt comfortable.
This man's name was Ted, and he was 91 years of age. He asked me what brought me there, and then I asked him the same question.
Ted's story is remarkable to say the least! When he started telling me about his life story, I was so consumed by the details in which he was reliving his life. It almost felt like he took me back to the past.
Ted had lived through the great depression, served in the defence force and worked on a farm. His knowledge was so extensive in many areas of life.
He now builds model rail engines and carts. His pale hands reached out to a folder on the table, and he took out some photos.
'Have a look at these' he said as he handed me the photos. In the photos I saw his collection of model rail engines and carts. He had built these in is workshop at his home and his passion for this was obvious to me.
Ted took me through each photo and explained what was in each photo.
He started telling me about how he cuts steel to build his model rail engines and carts. He seemed very enthusiastic.
In awe of his passion, I could not help but ask 'Ted, what are some of the life lessons that you have learnt?'
So he gave me the following life lessons:
- Put confidence in whatever you do.
- Don't be afraid of mistakes. Make them, and learn from them.
- Age is no barrier.
- Live to learn.
- Always listen to people when they talk. You will learn something when you listen carefully.
Wise people like Ted come into our lives for a reason. Whether we learn from their experience and wisdom or not is entirely up to us. I was so amazed and impressed by his passion for life at the age of 91 years!
He repeatedly kept saying that learning is very important in life.
I walked away from that conversation thinking that there cannot be any barriers in life unless we impose those barriers ourselves. Here I was, learning from a 91 year old wise man with so much life experience and with so much wisdom. All I could think about was the passion that this great man had for life.
So, please take a close look at your life and ask yourself 'How passionate am I about my life?'
Then look for any barriers that you think exist in your life. If Ted can live a life without barriers, then so can you.
Written by Ron Prasad who is the author of 'Welcome to your life' - simple insights for your inspiration and empowerment. He is also an inspired speaker who empowers his audience with his enthusiasm and energy. His passion is inspiring and fulfilling lives, and sharing his insights with people around the world. He actively supports animal charities in many countries.
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