The Golden Age
Retirement is great -- as long as one is healthy. When one is in declining health, nothing else can get much better. That is dependent on one's health. Therefore, obviously, attention to health must have our highest priority -- and implies the quality and vitality of one's life. If one is getting better, what more can be said? And if one is in a declining health spiral, eventual disability and death seems the only certainty.
Yet many are paralyzed by the fear -- rather than realizing they have nothing to lose in doing everything they can to make themselves better. Certainly, they can't get any worse. But most don't want to change -- even if it means getting better. The inertia is too great -- to get moving again. They don't want to move on; they want to die where they are. Formerly, people made those choices for themselves.
But now with so many health care workers, social workers, home health aides, one can be kept alive longer than their own efforts alone make possible. That is fine -- as long as any other doesn't have to sacrifice their own health and well-being for any other, whether the young for the old, or the old for the young. Often, it is not just one for one, but many for the one, until one has a whole empire serving the needs of The One -- for which any sacrifice, is not too great.
That is not the trend in modern societies -- fortunately. The highest attainment is the greatest self-reliance and self-sufficiency, because everyone is given equal access to all the resources -- particularly information of what they are, and how to access them. But the outcomes and results, will never be the same for everyone because of individual variations that ensures the survival of the species in the diversity of responses to any crisis or challenge Otherwise, one thing would wipe out everyone in an instant -- rather than allowing a few exceptions to the rule, to survive and eventually flourish in drastically changed circumstances.
It could be that some can stand the cold better, while others the heat. But as such, some enhance their survival prospects by moving towards their most favorable conditions -- rather than their most trying and difficult circumstances -- as proof they can withstand anything. Far better, for them to identify and move towards their greatest strengths and favorable conditions -- in optimizing their life and existence. That is what every living thing must do. That is their categorical imperative -- the drive above all the others.
The individual must survive -- in order for the group to. If none of the individuals survive, than the group is not possible. That is why the individual must survive, and beyond that, thrive -- to make all things possible beyond that. And rather than retirement being the end of those responsibilities to do well, it is actually the test tube of experimentation for how life can be -- if one's primary responsibilities are no longer the perpetuation of the present society, and its dependencies. It can be a life of greater independence, than increasing and inevitable dependence.
That is a choice -- that the most able make, because they can. That creates the society of the future. -- and not simply extending the lifespan of failing/fading life. That formula is doomed to extinction. -- because the measure of life, has never been its quantity -- but its quality. And quality is not just more of the same -- but significantly and appreciably different and better.
Those are the foundations of a golden age -- of individual or collective life, when one has access to all the information. The limit then, is not the information, but one's own desire and drive to tap it. Many don't even want to know about it -- because if they did know about it, they'd feel compelled to do something about it -- and so let themselves off of that responsibility, by choosing not to know, and turning away from every possibility of knowing. So theirs is the age of darkness -- repeating life as it has been, for thousands of years before. Or even the generation before.
That is the betrayal of all that have come before us -- not to see what lies beyond. Quite probably, it is of life beyond the money and cares of our traditional lives -- which we think is the ultimate goal and destination. And then we die -- or spend the rest of our lives worrying about it. That too, will come to pass, but to spend the better half of one's life worrying about it, is wasting the best years of one's life -- in the actuality.
All of life up to this point, has been a preparation, for moving beyond the past and knowledge that limits us. Only those who take on the challenge and responsibility of finding out the life never lived or imagined before will enter the golden age of these discoveries. And that is to embrace and embody, all that has gone before -- and go beyond that. That is the golden age of discovery.