I remember my dear uncle saying, “Now that I’m old I can look back on life while I’m living it.” I didn’t get that at the time, but now I do.
What I find different about getting older is that I can be the observer and the actor at the same time. When we’re young, we’re “doing,” and if we are more mature than the majority, reflecting way after the doing is over. “Insight,” is just that…looking inward and reflecting. If we can do that while we’re living, we’re far better off than most folks.
If we aren’t among the more mature and mindful, we blunder along only to discover our patterns and miscues in what isn’t working in our lives. If we don’t blame others, we may end up in the office of a therapist. Better late than never!
On the Discovery Channel there was discussion about research moving toward life without death. On the surface, that sounds like the vanquishing of the ultimate enemy! But what impact will immortality have on the choices we make in our then open-ended lives?
Will we care as much about our impact on others? If we have endless “do-overs” will we choose to be mindful? There was a hypothetical projection that one day we will be able to upload our consciousness into an app and won’t need a body!
There is something about the finiteness of form and time that motivates us. That which is finite is more precious and worthy of introspection and meaning. Since neither I nor anyone reading this is at this point immortal in the physical sense, maybe we can cherish the life we are living and “look back at its impact while we’re living it.”