“For it is not you who will be speaking – it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” – Matthew 10:20
I have been officially retired from my mainstream business consulting activity for many years and I am thankful that my mental faculties, often stimulated by mingling with the youth, are relatively efficient. I describe myself as “retired but not tired.”
My physical energy levels and medical, emotional and mental well-being are responding reasonably well in this new dispensation. This is aided by companionship to boost sharing and friendship, a well selected diet to maintain good nutritional balance, adequate sleep to recharge the batteries, walking exercise to maintain weight levels and tone muscles, the practice of peace of mind to stimulate positive thinking, preventive medical care to detect early warning symptoms and medication when required.
I spend my time shepherding family and friends along the path of sustainable business success, manage my pension, enjoy traveling, interact with grandchildren who are spread globally, participate in many service organizations (including Rotary International) in Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago, follow international cricket, write a weekly business column and, more ambitiously, I am engaged in writing a book by creatively recording my thoughts in my weekly column.
Notwithstanding the above, now that I have come to grips with my mortality, I also spend time regularizing legacy matters.
Last weekend, a fellow Trinidadian Rotarian, Bob Ramganie Gopee, celebrated two milestones in his life — his 80th birthday and 50 years as a chartered accountant. It was billed as an 80:50 celebration. How creative I thought, only to be told that on his 75th birthday, Bob launched the Bob Gopee Foundation.
The twin celebration took place over two evenings with the same format on each occasion – fellowship among the guests, a spiritual discourse by a Hindu pundit, congratulatory messages from selected individuals who had interacted with Bob throughout his life followed by a delicious dinner. The discourses, pundits and bearers of the messages differed over the two evenings. The discourses were very inspiring. The messages were comprehensive and articulately presented, giving highlights of his personal and professional life which were very interesting, especially for those who were not fully acquainted with Bob.
Congratulations Bob on your journey as an exemplar and we wish you many more healthy and enjoyable years!
One must usually await a funeral service for tributes on the life of a friend or colleague. Why not share it as you go, as Bob did, and allow the youth to benefit and be inspired as “you did it your way.” What is more is that the youth then have the opportunity to meet you in person and glean a lot more from the living legend.
Let us reflect on retirement after a life of productivity and professional performance. One major strategy is to stay in touch with the youth and take good care of yourself physically, emotionally and mentally. Another is to share your experiences with others and come to grips with your mortality. Then, like a phoenix, you shall rise from the ashes and contribute to the perpetuity of mankind.