The first day of school our professor introduced a little old lady to us.
"Why are you in college at such a young age?" I asked later. She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel."
"No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age. "I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me.
We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to make a speech to our football team. I'll never forget what she taught us. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her note card on the floor. A little embarrassed she simply said, "I'm sorry. This whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know." As we laughed she cleared her throat and began:" We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it! There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change.
期末的时候，我们邀请罗斯给我们的橄榄球队讲话。我永远都不会忘记她教给我们的东西。就在她要开始进行她事先准备好的演讲时，她把写了要点的卡片掉在了地 上。她有点儿尴尬，但只是说，“对不起。这酒可真要命！我没办法再准备好我的讲稿了，就让我把我知道的东西告诉你们吧。”我们笑了起来，她清了清嗓子，开始演讲：“我们并不是因为年老就不再玩耍；我们变老是因为我们不再玩耍。只有四个秘密可以让你保持年轻，快乐，获得成功。你必须每天都开怀大笑，寻找幽 默。你必须有一个梦想。失去了梦想，你就会虽生犹死。我们周围有很多人，他们已经‘死了’，自己却不知道。成长和长大之间有着巨大的差距。如果你现在19 岁，躺在床上整整一年什么都不做，你也还会变成20岁。每一个人都会长大，这不需要任何天赋和能力。要不断地在变化中寻找机遇，这样才是成长。
Have no regrets. The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets."
At the year's end Rose finished the college degree. One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep. Over two thousand college students attended her funeral to honor the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.
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