How many steps do you take each day? Are you moving? How’s your mind? What’s your connection with God?

Vitality is defined as the exuberant physical strength or mental vigor, the capacity for survival or for the continuation of a meaningful or purposeful existence; the power to live or grow.

When I recited the Boy Scouts Oath for the first time more than 70 years ago, I remember the last lines: “to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” Little did I realize, this was a great plan for full vitality in life.

On ABC’s Good Morning America TV program, Dr. Jennifer Ashton recently urged viewers to “move more!” If we take 8,000 steps a day as seniors, it helps us thrive. I know it’s 30 steps from my TV to the refrigerator. The challenge is to get off the couch and move. Who needs a “FitBit” device?

I saw the death certificate of a dear friend who died at age 95. It listed: Cause of death — hypoxia, pulmonary edema, congestive heart failure and adult failure to thrive. What are they going to write about you?

One reader wrote, “When I get old, I don’t want people thinking ‘What a sweet old lady.’ I want ’em to say, “Oh crap! What’s she up to now?” She is thriving and full of vitality. She has the power to live each day and grow. 

Betty White died just before her 100th birthday. She was a great example of being forever funny and full of vitality. Ziggy cartoons often have vitality thoughts. “Why is it … the only thing that doesn’t seem to slow down as you get older … is the aging process?”

Another cartoon featured an old man sitting on a bench next to Ziggy. He said, “At my age, my mind wanders … but my body is too tired to go along with it!”

I found an interesting commentary about a man. “He was a cautious man. He never romped or even played; he never smoked. He never drank, or even kissed a maid. And when he up and passed away, insurance was denied. For since he hadn’t ever lived, they claimed he never died.”

What’s your vitality quotient? You are still in the race. It’s not a rat race. You are not finished yet! Your challenge is to grow, flourish and prosper.  SL

Ed Baranowski is an award-winning writer, artist, speaker, and seminar leader. He lives in Melbourne  and can be contacted at