Precious Pieces of Advice from Yang Jiang

Chinese novelist, Yang Jiang, wrote the following at age 103. She passed away at 105 in May 2016.

Be Kind to Twilight Years

Seasons after seasons, we are unknowingly approaching our twilight years.

From the first cry on coming to the earth till the hairs turn grey, the baggage of our journey through life was filled with all bitterness and sweetness as well as ups and downs.

Next, how happy can we be on the path of our twilight years will depend on our physical mental condition. Life’s glory and splendor are all behind us. We are now just going through the daily chores of keeping life going.

Once we yearned for a glamorous life, now we realize the most wonderful and beautiful scenery in life are moments of tranquility.

Do not anxiously wait for the visits of our children. They have their own lives to take care of; they are like tops being spun continuously, sandwiched between the young and old.

The old one is the evening sun, whereas the young is the morning sun, and of course the young will get more attention; this is nature’s law. It is the human race survival cycle and no one can defy it. Please remember: our children are always busier than us.

happy children
In Reaching Our Golden Age…

In life, whether it is husband and wife or parents and children, no matter how harmonious and how close they are, each one is unique and an independent entity. Therefore we need to learn to cope with loneliness by finding ways to console and cheer ourselves up when feeling lonely.

In reaching our golden age, we have our self-esteem and graciousness. Just like the cycle of four seasons, each has its own grace and beauty. Smile and enjoy each phase of life.

Elderly man and woman posing together

Twilight years is the beginning of a good phase in life. It is calm, peaceful, unhurried and joyful. We have to maintain peace, be less demanding, more accommodative and forgiving, not to overreact when receiving attention or being ignored.

To stay or to go does not matter anymore. Keep smiling while moving ahead each day and be kind to ourselves.

Being honest and sincere will make friendships last. Do not expect for a return on whatever you have given to others. After all, making others happy is life’s greatest achievement. 

Yang Jiang (Chinese: 杨绛; 17 July 1911 – 25 May 2016) was a Chinese playwright, author, and translator. She wrote several successful comedies and was the first Chinese person to produce a complete Chinese version of Miguel de Cervantes’ novel Don Quixote.