Age doesn’t matter. Seriously it doesn’t. What matters is what do you want to do in Life!
We met an enterprising, energetic, committed and alive 78-year-old last evening. He’s John Pontin, a British millionaire, who ran a design and build company that has been engaged in socially enlightened property development for over half a century now. But what keeps John awake at nights, and awakened, is his monomaniacal focus and commitment to leave our planet a better place. His work is currently focused around a charity he helped launch a few years ago called The Converging World with a seed fund of 2 million British Pounds. One of its objects is to fund and build renewable sources of energy, such as wind turbines, in India. In 2008 The Converging World project installed two large turbines in Tamil Nadu. Since then, and a few smaller turbines later, several million units of electricity have been delivered to the Tamil Nadu State grid. Ask John why is he doing what he’s doing and he says, with a twinkle in his eye, “I am driven by this hunger, this sense of urgency, to make a change. To do something. I can’t wait. What has to be done, has to be done.”
Talking to John his like getting yourself a shot of inspiration. He looks 78. But he’s got the energy of an 18-year-old. “I know I am not getting any younger biologically. But I couldn’t have felt younger or better. I am living the best years of my Life. I am creative, naïve and am getting cheeky. Maybe that’s what’s making me do stuff or get stuff done faster which normally takes a long, long time getting done,” he explains.
John and his team at The Converging World are no doubt doing great service. That they will make significant contributions in the years to come is for sure – that alone is not something that will be counted as John’s legacy. What John is teaching us all is this: Age is a mere number. Be useful. Make every day of your Life memorable and make it count!
I wish all of us snap out of our comfort zones and complaining-sprees. I wish we stopped existing and merely earning a living. I wish we borrowed a leaf from John’s book, rolled up our sleeves and went down to work on making a difference. John reminds us that our time here is ticking away. And that the best gift we can give our children is a better world that’s greener, beautiful and bountiful. Even if we don’t want to be a conservationist or sustainability champion like John, we may just want to be useful to the human race instead of putting up our feet and gloating over how successful our material lives and careers have been. Hearing John speak last evening, I was certain about one more thing – there is no better time to get started on living and serving than now.