Seniors: Keep Your Head While Others Are Losing Theirs

Nov 4th, 2009 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

It isn’t too much of a undertaking today to look around at the number of people who are choosing to lose their heads.  Some for good reason.  Others, because they never learned the art of adaptation.  The world was not, in spite of the fallacies of some who attest otherwise, created for our pure, sheer,and exclusive enjoyment.  Times come and times go.  Some of them, as Dickens proclaimed, are “the best of times”   while others are “the worst of times.” 

Those passages, that Gail Sheehy made famous, catch all of us up in their webs.   Whatever occurs in the historical mix of our lives inevitably includes us, sometimes shapes us, often redirects us, frequently disappoints and aggravates us.  The control we are in a position to exercise over the time warp we are in is limited to none.  Flexing our individual intellectual and physical muscle to alter its course will end in nothing but frustration.  Our only sure choice is in  keeping our heads on straight, even though others are losing theirs.

Ultimately the rules are quite clear.  Drowning in a sea of despair, if you choose, is one option.  Temptation for escape runs high.  Looking for greener grass is no new fantasy.  Being Pollyanna is not really useful.  There are contrasting experiences out there that are nagging at us with a constancy like the blowing winds in the desert.  They blow and leave nothing the same, but appearances suggest nothing has changed. 

Tucking one’s head in those sands certainly serves no good purpose either.  When the head is raised, the landscape will likely be just about as it was.  History has shown that those movements and philosophers who have tried to introduce humanity to radical shifts in managing our existence really leave only small scratches on the surface.  To be sure some influences have left indelible marks.  To be sure some inventions will be classed as terrifically amazing, while others terribly threatening.  Likewise in thinking, great minds have gifted us with concepts and insights and convoluted formulae which test our minds beyond imagination.  We are those who are the creatures inhabiting the earth with gifts of thought and reasoning and logic that sometimes we seem to forget or ignore. 

Our paths, as seniors, have led us many, many places.  Some choose the mundane and ordinary.  Others look farther into the cave and see there the wonders of time yet unfolding.   When I was in high school, a classmate, later valedictorian, undertook to teach himself German.  This was, by then, only a decade separated from the Second World War.  I could not understand his interest in nor desire for knowing that language.  His brilliance was seeking more.  His mind was pushing out further.  Conventional thinking was not in his venue. 

Keeping your head, while everybody else is losing theirs, means you don’t have to follow the crowd.  Imitation may be the finest form of flattery, but contemplation and concentration and consummation are the greatest achievements of all.

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