“The meanings of life aren’t inherited. What is inherited is the mandate to make meanings of life by how we live. The endings of life give life’s meanings a chance to show. The beginning of the end of our order, our way, is now in view. This isn’t punishment, any more than dying is a punishment for being born.”
― Stephen Jenkinson
You'll have to excuse the fact that I'm only now writing today's post, but I've been busy with legal work since first thing. As you can imagine, given the state of world affairs, there are a number of issues starting to emerge that need careful consideration.
Because that's life. Right there. (Everything comes to an end, eventually.)
Sadly, we don't see it that way. It's not that we think we're indestructible but we think we can go on in time-honoured fashioned getting better and better, accumulating more knowledge (not wisdom...), to reach the summit called 'success'; namely, to be all you can be.
But it's a shell game because we don't ever, or so it seems, accept our limitations and in the process rather than growing, qua humans, we settle into a bone-weary regime of pushing ourselves to the very max because to do otherwise is deemed a failure.
(What does being yourself really mean?)
Our inability to accept endings is playing out now on an unprecedented scale. To be honest, without wishing to appear judgmental, well before now, we should have weaned ourselves off this fast-food diet of consumption, unprecedented air travel and having everything on demand. But we didn't and chances are when things return to normal, we won't either.
Why would we? At what cost? Another Covid-19 outbreak or something much worse — e.g. climate change, rising sea levels or poor air quality.
Perhaps in my old age I'm becoming less tolerant, more opinionated and less able to see the bigger picture but then again, I think among all the many wonderful and not so wonderful conversations going on right now, a place needs to be made to talk about the consequence and the meaningful acceptance of endings. If we don't, then chances are we'll stumble forward without learning anything about ourselves, the wider community and the world at large.
Much love, Ju.