As I grow older it seems as though I wax rhapsodic more often about the virtues of age and look more longingly into the past. This may be understood when one realizes the fact that the past is that which we have survived, and so presents nothing to fear. The present and future, on the other hand, are unpredictable, other than the eventual outcome which awaits us all. But tomorrow doesn’t frighten me, because I’ve lived yesterday and have survived, and I am excited about today and its possibilities. What’s pitiful about looking too much at the past is that by the time you have enough memories to be worth recalling, you’re too old to remember them, so maybe the past isn’t the place to be looking as we grow older.
We each think that we are unique to the world in which we live, and that our particular lives are also unique. In reality, life is just two or three human stories, endlessly repeating themselves as though they have never happened before. Oh, there are slight rewrites presented to each of us, but the overarching totality of our lives is indeed but an echo of those who have gone before us. Ultimately we each have a small role in this tragi-comedy we call life, but eventually all the characters die and are replaced by others who likewise die, ad infinitum.
This whole thing called life doesn’t seem so special when we view it with this sort of honest pragmatism. Not to say that it isn’t worth it, for it certainly is. Just that no matter who we are, what we do, what we possess, who we know, or anything else that we feel makes us different from those around us, we all are only here a little while and then gone. Some of us touch the future with more impact than others, but we all await the same fate while we go about our lives.
We should expect nothing more nor less for it is a chaotic universe into which we are born and in which we live. A universe that operates something like a ping pong match between Forrest Gump and Stevie Wonder, alternating between simplistic perfection and blind chaos and back again.
As we live we should each pick a flower of knowledge from time to time from among the many varieties that present themselves. Each flower we pick adds to a growing bouquet, and that bouquet ultimately becomes what we call wisdom, for wisdom is but the accumulation of the knowledge that we hold onto and put to a greater use.
I really didn’t know where this would go when I started writing it, and am not sure where it has arrived by the end. It’s probably proof that I shouldn’t try to write without a clear cut purpose, and moreso that I have indeed aged beyond the realm of coherency. What I have written here is stark proof that my comments about knowledge and wisdom are not universally applied, for I have proven that there are indeed exceptions to this bon mot.
Take these rambling thoughts for what they’re worth. On second thought, take them in spite of their worth, with my humblest apologies.