The Value of…

By Ron Tatro, Director, Elder Justice Coordinating Council at Elder Law of Michigan

I was fortunate to grow up on a small farm in rural New England. Those days were spent working from early morning to late evenings, especially in the summertime. As I now reflect on that time many decades ago, I have come to appreciate the lessons learned that I did not know I was learning.

THE VALUE OF HARD WORK: For most people, the best things in life are a result of hard work. A decent job, strong family and friends, good health can all result in a life well-lived. Even if we have reached a point in our lives to slow down, it can be time to work hard enjoying the fruits of all those efforts.

THE VALUE OF MAKING DECISIONS: Over the years I have learned to trust my instincts. While I sometimes make mistakes most of the time those decisions are sound. Learn to trust yourself, be confident, and be part of the discussions with others about how your life will be lived.

THE VALUE OF PLANNING: I once read that only about 5% of the things we worry about happen. I have learned that the life events that have caused the greatest impact were unanticipated such as an accident or a family member becoming sick. This does not mean that you should not plan for what you would do if this or that occurred. Once your plan is in place, move on.

THE VALUE OF PRIDE: Take pride in those efforts, projects, and life events that you have engaged in. Children well raised, a long marriage, volunteer projects that serve the community, serving in the military, or being a member of a spiritual community can all be sources of pride.

THE VALUE OF NATURE AND ANIMALS:  To this day, I am overwhelmed with the wonders of nature, animals, and what our role is being in this universe. The first green grass of spring, the first crop of new animals, and the warm spring breeze on my face remind me as to why life is so special.

THE VALUE OF MEMORIES: This brings me to my last point. As we age, we may begin to lose our network of family members, friends, or familiar surroundings. At the end of the day, memories may be the only thing we have left. Travel back through the memories, be they good, bad, happy, sad, clear, or vague. Each memory has a value.

Until the next time.

Ron Tatro joined Elder Law of Michigan in 2007 as the Director of Consumer Fraud and Elder Abuse Prevention Services. He is currently the Director of the Michigan Elder Justice Coordinating Council providing services to community based elder abuse prevention projects throughout Michigan.