My life is surrounded by old people. I married a man 12 years my senior, so most of our friends are older than me. My calling in church puts me in a position of getting to know the elderly in our ward. Some relatives are aging before my eyes. I'm forced to reevaluate my own life and where I am in reference to my life goals.
My aunt is 99, and we have friends in their 80's and 90's. A couple of days ago, a friend died at the age of 100. When I'm 80, 90, or 99, I hope I have half the wisdom that I see in these people. I feel so far behind. There is so much knowledge bottled up inside them -- I wish I could shake them like a soda bottle and explode some of that wisdom out onto me. I find myself picking their brains for any glimmer I can glean.
Someone said recently the worst mistake women make is to compare themselves to other women. To some extent I agree with that, but in other ways the comparison may be our call to action. The good we see in others can be ours if we put our minds to the task. Being wise isn't easy; it's God's challenge. We need to be careful, however, that we don't become depressed about our shortcomings. We should always strive for something higher, but not forget how far we've come.