Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Monday, April 24, 2017

learning to live

 Like most things learning to live takes time. I was scrolling down my timeline or wall, whatever you call that page on Facebook where you post stuff, looking at the photographs. Some of those pictures are children and grandchildren, smiling young faces full of hope. They were posted by proud parents and grandparents. There are pictures of old friends and classmates there as well. Funny how those folks didn't look that old just a few years ago, neither did I. And then there are the sad posts about those that have passed on. I saw one of those just this morning. I read a comment someone posted that said, you can either cry because she is gone or smile because you knew her. I thought that was a wonderful sentiment describing the two ways of grieving. I subscribe to I'll cry because you are gone. I know in more modern times we celebrate their life, but I just can't find much cause for celebration of any kind. Perhaps it is a selfish thing, this internal grief with little outward display, but it is what I feel. Perhaps too I like to believe there will be sorrow associated with my passing, not a celebration. 
 It was as I scrolled along that I realized how long it takes to learn to live. When we are young everything is immediate. We want it now and when we don't get it we are disappointed. I don't mean to say we are spoiled but we haven't learned patience yet. Patience is indeed a virtue and one that needs to be learned. If you were ever in the military, or went to the department of motor vehicles,  you learned patience. Hurry up and wait is the motto of the day most times. On the heels of patience follows understanding. Understanding takes a while to get a handle on. Before we can fully understand we must have experience, First hand experience is best but in some situations that isn't possible so we have to develop empathy as well. For instance, I can't experience childbirth but I can empathize with the pain of that. I've stubbed my toe before ! As a man I know pain ! The point being it is a learning experience.
 The last step in learning to live is the acquisition of wisdom. Wisdom isn't so much being smart as being able to make good decisions. The ability to see what is important in any given situation. The situation here is life. We learn that life isn't about us and the here and now. There is only one way our life can continue, and that is through others. Only truth is carried forward. That bit of wisdom takes time to learn and understand. You can pretend to be something you are not, but sooner or later you will be exposed. In order to be carried forward, with another life, you must first be a part of that life. That which is untrue will be discarded. It is ironic how we must get old to understand all of that. By the time most of us understand far too many have already passed. It is that sorrow that I feel. Melancholy is the correct word to describe what I feel when I hear of the passing of someone I have known. This is especially true of someone I love. I don't say " loved " because my love doesn't die with them. I do become pensive, reflecting upon the past. Good mornings I should have said or goodbyes unspoken.
 I am still learning to live. Life is a lifetime pursuit after all. I mean it takes a lifetime to accomplish right ? I do believe I have learned some things along the way. I could be more patient. My empathy is sometimes lacking, and wisdom, well wisdom I just don't know much about. I do know a wise old farmer told me, the more you know, the less you think you know.That sounds about right to me. I have learned to be true. Shakespeare wrote, " to thy own self be true " and I have heard that quoted many times in my life. I believe it means to know yourself. In short, don't kid yourself, be honest in your thoughts and dealings with others. Remember, only the truth is carried forward. Did not Jesus say, " I am the way, the truth, and the light" ? And what was the truth he was talking about ? His word. And what is the promise ? Eternal life, so there you have it. At least that is what I think.