My beloved mentor, Dr. Howard Stein of Columbia University in the City of New York, celebrated his 87th birthday on July 4, 2009, and in that celebration of his life, he shared his special wisdom with me.
“David,” he said:
Tell your readers that the problem is not realizing that you have gotten old, but that you discover you are getting older! That awareness, as a daily occurrence, is shocking!
Consider yourself warned against your inevitable end and your fading wishes!
As each day passes, I am made more aware than ever of the meting of time against expectation, and how despair outlives joy and why cruelty is becoming more common than unexpected.
I have not lived Howard Stein’s incredible life; he has touched many pinnacles and been unfairly felled by the frailties of the human body — but he always perseveres — and in that living example, he provides the greatest lessons:
If you fall, stand up.
If you’re wrong, right it.
Allow your dreams to awaken you.