There’s a lot of blame and guilt being flung around – the entitlement of the Millennials (supposedly); the hoarding of wealth by the Boomers (again, supposedly). The extremism of the newer generations as a result; the holding back of the older generations in response.
I grew up believing that more traditional cultures honored their elders, and that their elders made room for the younger community members. But in truth, I rarely see it among any cultural group, except perhaps the Chinese.
That is from my limited observation, and yet that’s what I witness. This objectifying of the other is motivated by many things – fear of our collective future, fear of our individual security, jealousy and resentment, along with many other reasons.
I’ve been noticing these things for a long time. It saddens me. Then I came across a poem by Dena Lynn written in eulogy to her sister – all about her sister’s growing beauty as she aged – expressed in terms of the smooth, soft contours of aged sea glass.
We – the older generations – can do that: age into beauty. It doesn’t mean letting go or giving up on what we value, or giving into other seemingly opposite values. Sea glass requires a process of a tumbling through rough waters and being smoothed by the abrasive friction of sand before it ages into beauty. We can become that sea glass and provide our younger friends and relations with a glimpse into what can be waiting for them, demonstrating with our actions and responses an invitation to dialogue.
An Living passionately no matter how old
Quote of the Week
“I want to age like sea glass.
Smoothed by tides,
but not broken.
I want my hard edges to soften.
I want to ride the waves
and go with the flow.
I want to catch a wave
and let it carry me
to where I belong.
I want to be picked up
and held gently by
those who delight in my
well earned patina and
appreciate the changes I went
through to achieve that beauty.
I want to enjoy the journey
and always remember that if
you give the ocean something
breakable it will turn it into
I want to age like sea glass.”
– Bernadette Noll (A tribute to her sister, Alma, who died at age 57)
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