Saturday, July 18, 2009
Living past 100!
"....The first thing I want to tell you is that no matter your age now, you will be old, you will be infirm, you will have fewer resources than you have now, and you cannot avoid that state."
We started our conversation knowing that our life is a limited one. Today, the oldest man died at 113. Count your days ahead. If I live that long, I still have another sixty years ahead. A lifetime in my father's days. I have not planned that far.
I read somewhere that we should live as though we'd die tomorrow; and we should plan to live to 100. And planning is a noble, and human activity. Animals plan too. Squirrels,bear, salmon, plan to fulfill their potential, to live and procreate, each according to their basic nature. Animals may dream too. If you study bees, they plan to support the hive until the bitter end.
We plan for some things quite well. We plan our financial future-except during this economic meltdown. We plan our children's future. WE even plan our recreational and social activities. Most of you who have retired are enjoying good health and relative freedom to do all the activities you enjoy. Those who didn't plan and consumed more than they made have no one to blame. Of course, there are exceptions for those who have been struck by debilitating illnesses, and other circumstances beyond their abilities to control, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, famine, pestilence, war.
Our ignorance, our naivete, and our own inability to accept responsibilities have played major roles in our life course. We didn't get ice-cream for breakfast from our parents, how can we justify poor eating habits now they we are adults?
We don't do so well planning the future of our communities. We stay wrapped in our own problems, fail to stay involved. We live with blinders on: as long as a problem doesn't touch us now, who cares?
"I don't have children in school, why do I have to pay school taxes?"
In the traditions of many native tribes here in America, decisions and planning were made with an eye to future generations. Seven generations, to be exact. In seven generations, all of our children would be related to all of your children.
So, today, our conversation should be about planning to live to 113; and to support the efforts of seven generations hence.
p.s. The folks above are my daughter Pia and her husband Jason, and his folks during the weekend of the 4th, plus my hubby. When we get together, we share music and merry making. I was taking the pictures.