This question was raised by a colleague at work yesterday. We responded 44, 47, 34 and then my colleague answered “I turn 60 this year”. She said it as if there was something wrong. I pondered to my self, “why is it our western culture devalues our older generations?”
In other cultures, like the Aboriginal Australians, the older generations were seen as the most valued generation. Something to strive for and recognise a deep goodness. A generation of grand parents and elders who would play a critical and vital part for the younger generation. The older generation would make the younger generation older and wiser, and the younger generation would make the older generation younger and provide a sense of vitality. Instead, in western culture, we limit our view to our own generation to what the “I” generations brings “me”.
However, our ego shatters when we realise death is on the horizon. But maybe this realisation is the greatest opportunity as it frees us from what we think should be and causes us to look beyond our own mortality. There is something more. Beyond death. Beyond our age. To be human means not to be fixed to age, but to be connected beyond the ages.
As Pope John Paul II wrote “we are pilgrims on a journey”. This journey does not end when we die. We are not alone. We are called to be connected. We are together.
The question then becomes
“Hey pilgrim – how are you journeying?”
“What critical part of the tapestry of life is being created simply by your presence and the goodness that weaving will bring?”
What glorious questions!
This causes us to wonder. We have a critical part to play. Even as a sick person in a hospital.
The younger generations, when they feel a re-connection, to the older generation, they understand more about what it means to be alive in this moment. A moment together. In the middle.