Saturday, March 29, 2014

One Day at a Time

There are some people who like to create problems for themselves -- even (especially) when there are no good reasons for feeling so -- just because it gives them something to do, and a meaning and purpose in their lives.

These are people who have been conditioned not to do anything unless there is a crisis requiring immediate knee-jerk responses -- rather than a more successful longterm plan and strategy for optimizing their prosperity chances.  Such people are not living one day at a time -- but only one second at a time, hoping they will survive the entire day -- and seeming to be surprised and impressed when they do. 

Obviously, it is very nerve-wracking to live and work with those who operate in that fashion -- because there is no greater meaning and purpose to what they are doing.  Every action seems arbitrary and unrelated to any other -- and they like it that way, because that is the expression of their autonomy and independence -- even to their own rhyme or reason.

They are often proud of their "unpredictability" -- as though that made them more free -- than all the others bound by their predictability -- even if it makes the lives of everybody around them better too. Predictably, such individuals become increasingly "isolated" from everybody else's reality -- and entirely within their own.  They become more certain, that theirs is the only one that matters -- and thus become disconnected from the reality of others, as the river of life and thought.  It is the choice they make, and nobody can make any other for them.

That's how many become "set" in their ways -- rather than continuing to grow and change throughout their lives, taking in the new, and letting go of the old.  The mind that is always renewing itself, never grows old -- but the mind clinging to the old -- in preference to the new, cuts them off from the present and future of the shared experience of humanity and its collective wisdom.

That's how people die -- one day at a time -- in cutting themselves off from that which is vital, and life-affirming.  But in that same way, they can choose to renew their connection to the the vital life- force -- one day at a time.  That's how lives are changed -- as well as set, every single day, in every single action, and not by envisioning where one wants to be, thirty years from now -- or any vague time in the future.

What matters -- is everything one has done today, for only one day.  That makes the difference -- starting right now.

Friday, March 07, 2014

The Meaning and Purpose of Retirement

At "retirement," we all become self-employed -- to do what is most important and meaningful to do -- before we die.

The ultimate meaning of self-employment is hiring yourself for the important job of taking care of oneself.  Many will rise to the challenge -- while a few will realize they've never learned anything that was meaningful (productive) to do, and now they have a fool for a boss.

In this way, retirement is the summation of our existence -- and the real test of what we know, and can do.  If it is not worth doing for themselves, then how important can they be?  Many think that their worth is only what somebody else will pay them to do -- so that when nobody pays them anymore, they think they are worthless, and these things are not worth doing for themselves. But there is nobody more important to give their best to/for -- unless they've never created any value for themselves, and that is what their living has been all about.

They served others first, and lastly, they realize the value of all they have done -- as a fitting, just reward. One gets, what one has given -- and honed their skill at giving, and knows no greater gift to give.  That is the person they are, and the gift they have given to themselves -- all their lives.  That's why it matters -- always to have given one's best, as the only way one knows how to give to any other.

It never was about the money -- but exchanging value for value -- beyond what was expected, always exceeding expectations -- as the way of their own life.  That is the standard of value.  Such people at retirement, enjoy those golden years in return -- as the life they created for everybody else, and the world conveys to them as a senior citizen -- of full entitlement of what the society has created for everybody else, themselves not withstanding.

Thus all the talk of having more than everybody else, should rightfully cease, and one feels content to have what everybody else has -- which is not a life of deprivation and poverty that financial planners would have them believe they need the fortunes they never had before -- as necessary to a happy, healthy life in "retirement."  Nothing changes very much -- except that one has the time to appreciate the person one has been all one's life.

For some, that is not a happy ending -- but it needn't be that way.