According to research there are approximately 46+ million Americans over the age of 65, and more staggering will be the nearly 100 million people over 65 by 2060.
Will it lead to a greater level of understanding, or will it lead to a greater divide?
We can currently see examples in nature of small creeks, which currently allow us to jump across them, becoming large raging torrents, which are not able to be forded. We can negotiate this with love and acceptance. Starting with ourselves, and ending with those across the way.
Love is easy enough.
I love you, Mom. My Mom loves cake and flowers, so I am making her a cake and bouquet for Mother's Day, which are symbols of the love I have for her.
However, how about loving the things we don't want to acknowledge as part of life. Like having to clean house every day, having to cut fruit for a church social, or cleaning up after a mess is made even though you literally just cleaned up the same mess. Or even accepting that we have a place in the world we have yet to find.
It is easier to say, "No, I don't want to" and seek the various pleasures, literally, at our fingertips, but does that habit lend itself to being a strong person for others, I don't think so.
This is my journey.
I often say this as a way to remind myself that no matter the situation, I have to accept that this is what is meant to be. I have always found examples of fate, manifest destiny, or whatever you may want to call it as part of the life we each lead, but let's be honest, that's a really easy thing to say.
"This is my journey" doesn't fully encompass the range of thought that should go into any line of thinking. We forget to say, "This is my journey, and I love it." Once again, it's easy to say, but how many of us actually live it.
So, how do we make the leap from thinking "we don't want that" to acceptance, and more importantly to loving it all along the way?
We look within ourselves. We try to understand that every action, word, and piece of ourselves that goes into the world has the ability to change the dynamic of our lives.
Think about that.
We see negative examples of this all the time: a girl pushes someone off a cliff without thinking of the consequence and her friend is injured, but that is a clear example.
What about quick unkindnesses that roll off our tongues as easy as water? How many times have we each had those moments, and how many of those moments keep people awake whispering to themselves. Would it not be far easier to try to stop for a moment, hit pause and respond to life with as much grace as possible? Can we as a society instill this into future generations?
I believe that we must strive to.
By 2060, nearly a third of the population will be getting to point in life where they will likely need more care and understanding. As a society, will we be capable to giving it to them? Or will we be quick to rash thoughts and hostilities.
I hope not and I believe that there is a place for all who seek one. Sometimes the journey can be just that simple. Looking for and pursuing your place in the world. And as long as you are loving the difficult parts, you are doing it right. Loving the tough parts help you know when you get to the good parts of life, and that is the greatest gift we can give to one another.
Happy Mother's Day to all Moms out there, and we love you for loving the bad parts and not throwing us out with the bath water.