(A real story from the book “Chicken
Soup for the College Soul”.)
On the first day of my university,when I was in my class, a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around and find a wrinkled, little old lady smiling at me. She said, “Hi, handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?”
I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.
“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.
She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple children, and then retire and travel.”
“Please tell me the answer seriously,”
“I always dreamed of having a college
education and now I’m getting one!”
she told me.
After class we walked to the student
union building and shared a milkshake.
We became instant friends. Every day
for the next three months we would
leave class together and talk nonstop.
I was always mesmerized listening
to this “time machine” as she shared
her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the school year,
Rose became a campus icon and she
easily made friends wherever she
went. She loved to dress up and
very active in the university.
At the end of the semester we invited
Rose to speak. She was introduced
and stepped up to the podium. she
cleared her throat and began: “We do
not stop playing because we are old;
we grow old because we stop playing.
You have to laugh and find humor
each and every day. You must have a
dream. When you lose your dreams,
you die. We have so many people
walking around who are dead and they
don’t even know it!
There is a giant difference between
growing older and growing up. If you
are nineteen years old and lie in bed
for one full year and don’t do one
productive thing, you will turn twenty
years old. If I am eighty-seven years
old and stay in bed for a year and
never do anything I will turn eighty-
eight. Anybody can grow older. That
doesn’t take any talent or ability. The
to grow up by always finding
I daily want to grow up. For that, I learn
something. I be happy. I enjoy
every day. Everyday is a new life for
me. I believe Im still young. Activeness
is the only matter. Age does not
matter. If you want to do anything in
life, you may start it today. There is no
late in life. Have no regrets about
your past. You can start building your
life everyday.” .
At the year’s end Rose finished the
college degree. One week after
graduation Rose died peacefully in her
sleep. Over two thousand college
students attended her funeral in
tribute to the wonderful woman who
by example that “it’s never too late to
be what you want to be”.