Some subscribe to the view that every human is entitled to respect, simply because they are on the planet. Each of us was born for a purpose, and we are collectively participating in this grand experiment for reasons any one of us cannot fathom. It is just too complex to work out.
This makes sense to me.
However, just because you get older doesn’t necessarily mean you get smarter, kinder, or more compassionate. These take consciousness, awareness and a willingness to learn. What a wonderful world it would be if it was a given ~ that aging automatically turned all of us into people who actually commanded respect.
However, when we meet a person who has aged rather ungracefully, that is precisely when we get to test if we really subscribe to a stated belief (i.e. we are all spiritual beings worthy of honor), or are just fooling ourselves into thinking we are nobler than we really are. Beliefs have to make the journey from the head to the heart to actualize.
This, then is what I need ~ to find ways to actualize my beliefs. PRACTICE is important. Athletes or musicians don’t excel overnight, and ordinary folk don’t become completely caring and loving without working at it.
I have collected a series of tools for spiritual repair: visualisation, breathing, reading, paying attention to my dreams and the themes that come up in my artwork. Consciousness and self forgiveness are crucial. If I let my ego pull me around by the nose, then everything is about me and my precious feelings. But allowing my consciousness to exert awareness of how I am relating to others, treating others, puts my existence on a different plane. At the same time that I forgive myself for my lack of perfection, I give thanks for even noticing the imperfections and feel hopeful that I will be supported in my efforts.
Supported by whom?
By those who strive to be loving, compassionate beings.
By those who believe in humankind, and the earth that sustains us.
One might call them The Council of Elders ~ those enlightened beings who possess sufficient Self knowledge to have gotten over themselves.
If you associate enough with older people who do enjoy their lives, who are not stored away in any golden ghettos, you will gain a sense of continuity and of the possibility for a full life.
…….~ Margaret Mead
To be happy in this world, especially when youth is past, it is necessary to feel oneself not merely an isolated individual whose day will soon be over, but part of the stream of life flowing on from the first germ to the remote and unknown future.
…….~ Bertrand Russell