Beginning Life All Over Again
It doesn't happen every day that one can begin life all over again -- which one should welcome rather than dread, and fear. That is probably the great wisdom of life -- that one can always begin anew -- but only by dying to the old, and being reborn in the new. We know that other forms of life make this metamorphosis -- to fully actualize their existences.
Probably one of the great distinctions of human life, is that we can do it often -- as many times as we choose to -- when we choose to embrace the wholly new. Some people make a lifestyle of change, and adapting to change, while others will have an unbroken continuity of repeating the same patterns every year of their life -- and not think that it could ever be different.
They will think that life where they are is perfect, or paradise -- requiring no change forevermore -- which is not how we got here, or can ever expect to stay the same. People don't change because they want to; they change because they have to -- for their continued viability and fullest Otherwise, they deteriorate and die, and refuse to change anymore, despite their present course not working. That's why people grow old. They make a critical decision, and refuse to change forevermore -- that kills them.
The obvious ones are the addictions that speed their decline and self-destruction. Less obvious are the lifestyle habits -- of excessive consumption of what would ordinarily be healthful in moderation -- as eating, resting, thoughtful risk-taking.
The milestones for a new beginning, are the rites of passages -- into adulthood, maturity and then seniority. Those are the well-recognized opportunities for beginning life all over again -- that a few take full advantage of, while most refuse to make the leap. They do not go on -- but fall by the wayside, to watch those who go on -- trek on to the promised land.
That is the story that has been repeated by every people -- since time immemorial. That is the history and evolution of humankind. It is also the story of individuals -- and the difference they make in their own lives -- that changes the world. It's not an abstraction or generalization, but the fact of every life, and what gives it meaning and significance -- the real choices people make and actualize. That's what makes their life.
That is the significance of "retirement," that many dread -- thinking that it is just the continuation of the life they have lived up to now, but with less money. However, they should have learned by then, how to live on less money -- as the wisdom of their lives, rather than as many still think, that they simply need more money -- and that they'll never have enough, because it is the thinking that makes it so, all things being equal.
That is how one knows one has grown wiser, and not just older; the wiser negates the older, and failing to do so, is what ages people. That is the indisputable truth. People who grow wiser, don't grow older -- but because they don't grow wiser, have to grow older. Older and obsolescence doesn't just happen; it happens because we fail to grow wiser. That is the hard truth to swallow -- and so we prefer to believe that growing old is inevitable. We obviously, have not solved the right problem -- rightly.
The solution to a problem, is not the problem -- but the elimination of it -- totally. Then one can move on -- rather than solve the same old problem, as the great nemesis of one's existence. That is just the continuation of the old, and not beginning life wholly, freshly new -- because one realizes a much better life is possible that way.