Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The loss of the old and wise

In the past, the role of the older generations in society, was an important one. They were connected to the past but they were also very much a part of the present. Their accumulated experience allowed them to distill the essence of knowledge and gave them a bird's eye view of life with the wisdom and the capacity to foresee, to heal, to guide and lead the young and inexperienced. They were able to relate directly to the younger generations through a high level of consolidated experience which led to simplicity and being able to consciously return and tap into the powerful innocence and clarity of a child. They were the "Elders". The guardians of the truth, the all understanding, the open minded and fearless problem solvers that were respected and cherished by society.

I very much fear that all of this has now been irrevocably lost. The tenuous links of family and society due to life debilitating work hours and the relentless pursuit of profit, the brave new world of the Internet and the gaming industry, the enthronement of television as the new and influential member of a dysfunctional family, are probably just few of the causes. Old people now carry their past like a burden. Instead of opening up as they grow older, they hide in the tortoise shell of their frigid and obsolete opinions. Too fearful to shed light in the dark closets of their minds, they are false, wasted and hollow. They sit motionless in front of the moving images of television, their only place of comfort and oblivion. They fall asleep and their retired dreams, when not blank, are filled with gambling, greed and illusions of vanity. Spoiled and senile children they have become, keeping up appearances to extend their fast approaching deadline.

T.S. Eliot once said :"I don't believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates." In these dangerous times, everything seems to be pushing you towards immobility and stagnation. It is the young of today that have to understand this now before they eventually morph into the old of the future.

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