As my eightieth birthday approaches, as I find myself eagerly anticipating the birth of my ninth grandchild, and having just completed an extensive nature exploration trip, (which involved some deep discussions), with my oldest grandson, I am struck by how different was the world in which I grew up, from the one which my 23 year old grandson is experiencing, and how even more different will be the world which my unborn grandchild will explore.
My reflections lead me to wonder if there is anything that I have learned about life that is worth sharing, that is unaffected, or minimally affected, by the passage of time. I guess that I am naive enough, and hopeful enough, to think that the answer to that question is yes. I believe that there are some values and principles that are valid, regardless of the changes in our world and how those changes impact our lives. Therefore, I have chosen to write down some thoughts about life, in the hope that they will be of benefit to my sons and daughters, grandchildren, their children, and anyone else who cares to “listen”.
My hope is that these observations will be useful to readers as they make decisions large and small, but primarily I share them in the hope that they will encourage readers to THINK, to figure out what is really IMPORTANT and to do what is RIGHT. I believe it is every serious thinker’s responsibility to separate clarity and reason from the morass of ignorance, prejudice, dogma, and misinformation with which we are confronted daily.
I’ve concluded that there are five fundamental decisions that shape our lives. They provide the map for the path we choose to follow:
- Who do I choose to be?
- How do I choose to see the world?
- How do I choose to live my life?
- How might I improve my life?
- What’s it all about?
Life poses many problems. With those we must learn to cope. It also offers goodness, beauty, hope and truth. Of these we should learn to be aware and to appreciate.
Please understand that I am not trying to tell anyone what to do, with these general exceptions: I urge everyone to THINK, to DECIDE, to DO. I am convinced that following a proactive agenda is superior to being reactive or doing nothing at all.
I offer some ideas regarding what to THINK about. To be sure, my list is not all inclusive. My suggestions may not be appropriate. You may decide differently. That is ok. What is important is that you seriously think about the issues raised and decide what makes sense for you, in light of your carefully considered values, morals, ethics and goals.
I like to think of myself as a “Seeker of Truth”. I have a burning desire to know the truth, the way “things really are”. Having said that, I understand no one can ever possess all that is true, or only the truth. Life is too complicated for that. Truth can only be pursued. But that in no way diminishes the value of the search. The more I learn, the more I reflect, the closer I get to reality. For me, reality is important. What I share here is what I have come to believe about the truth regarding the subjects addressed. Keep in mind that there is no guarantee that what you read here is “the truth”. It represents what I think is true. What is the truth for you, you must decide for yourself.
In some cases, my suggestions may represent what I have learned about what should be done. Some represent what I learned by doing the wrong things, or doing things incorrectly. I offer them in the hope that you will not make the same mistakes that I have made.
I make no claim that all of this material is original. I have borrowed extensively from the wisdom of others. Sometimes I give credit and use quotation marks. Sometimes I paraphrase what I have learned from reading or hearing, and/or extrapolate from what I have read, heard and experienced.
As you will see, I am fond of quotations and “old” adages that resonate with truth and meaning. The one that I lately find myself relating to more and more is:
“Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart”
I hope that you will find these ramblings of some value.