I keep thinking about my grandparents and great-grandparents.
I can still remember a time — just — when they were all alive.
Only now do I think, if only they were still here to ask them what it was like (amongst many other things) to live through two world wars, raise a family and have no TV, less still the internet.
But I digress.
We’re awash — and I mean drowning in it — with information. Practically speaking, there’s nothing that we can’t find out. Yes, there’s a persuasive argument for better lives (or at least more informed), more insight and better education but what about wisdom? Or to be more precise, what have we lost in not having around us the hallmarks, let alone the stories of our ancestors? No, not even, as in my case, one or two generations, but a long way back. Way, way back.
I don’t know but it sure feels like there’s nothing deep, spiritual or wholesome about we’ve created for ourselves. That’s not to say there aren’t some wonderful old and not-so-old people in our midst, but how many of them, if any, could now live (if they ever did) without the State apparatus, the ideology of the neoliberalist or as part of an egalitarian society?
I don’t know. I really know.
Right now, as I’ve done several times, I’m listening on Audible to Stephen Jenkinson’s remarkable book, Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble. Apart from anything else, it’s a gripping read and a wonderful history lesson of how the Romans conquered everything, including the cultures that they came upon. Look at that title though: “…a Time of Trouble.” Well, if that’s not what we’re facing now, and I don’t just mean CV19, then I don’t know what is. I don’t want to ruin your day, but I think we all know that we’re well on the way to the demise of the human form. It’s not a matter of if but when!
If only we had a few elders in our midst. If nothing else, as romantic as it sounds, we, or better still our leaders (I use a lower-case l deliberately), might be able to ask a sensible or should that be an illuminating question and not expect to receive, in our information-saturated world, another glib, paper-thin answer. You heard me. I wouldn’t expect our elders to offer more solutions(!) but instead for all of us to look into our hearts and to find a more beautiful question to live our days by than (as I said in yesterday’s post) be all you can be and all the other associated memes that we’ve bought into without, or so it seems, a care in this world, or one more beautiful that we’ll leave for the next generation.
What am I really saying?
I wish there was a way, not by hooking up to some hocus-pocus, New Age lighting rod, to connect with our ancestors. Of course, I’ve no way of knowing if they’d be able to help me with the troubles of the day, but something tells me that knowing more doesn’t equate to knowing the right things or even understanding what it means to be someone to tread lightly on this world without the apparatus of the day but that doesn’t stop me wondering.
Have a wonderful Monday.