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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Elders and Wishes

"Like our shadows our wishes lengthen as the sun declines." Poet Edward Young

Isn't one of the key advantages of age that we have a broader more compassionate perspective of the world and those in it? Is this not also true for what we wish the world to be? The role of elders is to be the "keepers of the big picture". If we let them they can pull us back, individually and collectively, from the brink of destruction.

I sometimes advise people who are seeking inspiration about what they should really do in life to consult a trusted elder about what is really important in life. With their lifetime of wisdom they have wishes that are bigger than themselves. Perhaps we should all listen more!

1 comment:

tinyE said...

Last week I attended a womens' holiday luncheon, and most of the attendees were a generation or so ahead of me. As I was waiting to leave, I sat by an older woman I didn't know and got to listen to her conversation with a friend who stopped by to say hello. They talked about kids, grandkids, Christmas plans and their memories. Their heads tilted back and they laughed out loud at the mention of the good times they had shared over the years. Then one of them said, 'thank goodness we have our memories'. So often we want to believe old age is simply middle age: the extended version. But it is not. Watching and listening to this casual, conversational exchange reminded me to not wish away the present stresses and worries and adventures of my daily, middle-aged life. I will miss these times, 5 years from now or 50 years from now.