Ageless Wisdom

E6D3115D-C5C8-4E4E-B4AF-CC75B8DB084FI was dusting the spare bedroom the other day when I noticed a piece of paper sticking out from my grandmother’s old family Bible.  Curious, I pulled it out and discovered it was a reflection, neatly typed on a small piece of paper with my grandmother’s name signed at the bottom of it.  I have no idea if this is something she wrote herself, or if she found it somewhere and decided with was worth copying down and saving.  At any rate, it ended up in the same Bible where she kept a careful record of our family’s births, marriages, and deaths, so I believe it must have held some special meaning for her.  And after reading it, I can understand why.

It may be old, but I think in many ways that this reflection speaks just as well to today’s world.  And I thought that instead of writing my own post this week, I would simply share the words that my grandmother saved:

Just For Today

Just for today, I will try to to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life’s problems at once.  I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today, I will be happy.  This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that “most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

Just for today, I will try to strengthen my mind.  I will study and I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer.  I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.

Just for today, I will exercise my soul in three ways:  I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out.  If anybody knows about it, it will not count.  I will do at least two things I don’t want to do…just for exercise.  And if my feelings are hurt, today I will not show it.

Just for today, I will be agreeable.  I will look as well as I can, act courteously, criticize not one bit and not find fault with anything.  I will not try to improve or regulate anyone except myself.

Just for for today, I will have a program.  I may not follow it exactly, but I will try.  And I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today, I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax.  During this half hour I will try to get a better perspective of my life.

Just for today, I will be unafraid.  Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

I always believed that my grandmother was a wise woman.  Turns out, I was right about that…..

64 thoughts on “Ageless Wisdom

  1. I recognize these words!
    They’re basic literature for Al-Anon, likely for AA, as well. “Just for Today” These words, like “The Serenity Prayer” have brought comfort and balance to so many who struggle.
    What a delight to encounter them here!❤❤❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, when I googled “just for today” all that came up was the AA stuff, but the actual essay was a bit different. It’s possible that what my grandmother had was a very early version of it, since she got this Bible in 1957. But it is good to think of this wisdom still living on today, just in a more modern version. Thanks for that comment!

      Liked by 2 people

    • That’s what I liked….the only part that focused on “me” was “how can I do better?” So different from the trends we see now, when everyone is so intent on trying to “convert” everyone else to seeing things from their point of view. As the old saying goes, we need to start making this a better world by working on the person we see in the mirror each morning!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My mom used to save quotes and words that inspired her and finding them after she died always pleased me. Partly because it was a glimpse into what she cared about but also the words themselves gave me perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s how I felt about this too! I was pleased to read something that I seemed to be so meaningful to her, but once I read it, I found that it spoke to me as well. It’s kind of nice to have that connection to my grandmother.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Really nice. Your grandmother must have been wise indeed. My obsessive compulsive personality immediately made me think I should try to do all of these on the same day, but I doubt that’s what your grandmother intended. So, to borrow the mantra from AA, “One day at a time.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve read these Just For Today thoughts before, and, while I can’t remember their source, they resonate with me. It’s easy to criticize others and complain when things don’t go our way; but it’s much harder to start with ourselves and make US the kinder, gentler person our world needs. I’m glad you found your grandmother’s message, Ann, and I thank you for sharing it here so we could enjoy it, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Debbie! It sometimes seems to me as if one of fall outs from social media is how it encourages us to try to change other people through our posts. When really, I believe the old saying, “If you want to live in a better world, be a better person” is much more effective.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Utterly beautiful, Ann. Your grandmother was a wise woman indeed, and just by writing this down and saving it, I can see that she must have been kind and loving, generous and forgiving as well. Thanks for sharing this. I just might copy it down and save it. Perhaps one day someone will find it among my belongings.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t heard of that at all, but I’ll listen for sure. I think “just for today” has been around a long time, one way or another, and I know that it’s part of AA’s motto. It’s good to know that sometimes, wisdom endures!


Comments are closed.