Comforting Words: Christmas Reflection #3

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Christmas Reflection #3

I turned forty during this year and although it was not an age I was really dreading, the number – 40 – was significant to me, in a world where everyone is so caught up with being “forever young.”

A few years ago, there was an interview with Maya Angelou either on the eve of her 70th birthday or close to it. The interviewer, Oprah, asked her about her feelings with regard to this number. While I cannot remember exactly what she said, I know it held the same gem that this quote from Confucianism offered me on my 40th:
"At fifteen I set my heart upon learning. At thirty, I had planted my feet upon firm ground. At forty, I no longer suffered from perplexities. At fifty, I knew what the biddings of Heaven were. At sixty, I heard them with a docile ear. At seventy, I could follow the dictates of my own heart, for what I desired no longer overstepped the boundaries of right.”

Soon after posting the article, The Power of Forty, here at Comforting Words, I received a message from my dear woman-friend and mentor, Ms P., who advised me to not only embrace my 40th birthday but celebrate it all year long.

Well Ms P (or should I say Dr. P?) you will be pleased to know that I took your advise – for the most part. Always asking myself, “Am I the Question,” I ventured forth into this my fortieth year on this Earth plane, convinced that my life has purpose and meaning, despite and in spite of the seeming curve balls that have come my way.

What I learnt this year is that 40 is just another number to celebrate and be thankful that the Divine had chosen me to be here. I have been given 40 years thus far to pose a unique question to this world and I have the choice to either do so or be caught up with everyone else about numbers.

As I made the choice to celebrate all year long my 40 years of uniqueness, God cleared the way to many opportunities for me to be a blessing and to be blessed. For this, I am truly grateful.

For your part – how many years of uniqueness are you celebrating?



Photograph courtesy of


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