Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More Secrets of the Universe

By S. Derrickson Moore
LAS CRUCES — Last week, in Secrets of the Universe No. 1, I shared some of the perils and aggravations that come with parenthood and aging.
This week, let’s focus on the perks.
Some people think that life stories get less interesting and plot possibilities decrease as you get older. Those people are wrong.
Some of the most entertaining children of a lifetime may come into an enlightened woman’s world after her childbearing years have passed, along with passionate love, amazing adventures, unexpected, even startling successes, and maybe even some extraordinary and revolutionary creative concepts.
As we get older and — especially — wiser (alas, the two traits don’t always go together), the more likely we are to see potentials, make connections and skillfully navigate the critical passageways of life.
As the mantle of age descends upon your shoulders, so, too, if you’ve lived boldly and with integrity, do some secrets of the universe.
Here are a few I’ve collected.
The price of awareness is awareness.
The more some people feel out of control, the more they try to control others. Do your best to stay out of the knee-jerk controller category. It’s always best to get your own house in order before you attempt to order someone else’s chaos.
Learning and teaching are perpetually rewarding. Do your best to keep up with the latest technologies. Get your kids and grandkids to teach you. In return, teach them that sometimes the greatest luxury in the 21st century is being out of touch. Now and then, turn off the computers and smart phones and maintain voice and text silence, even if it’s just for the space of a half-hour, single-tasking nature walk.
There is a delicate balance between striking when the iron is hot, and waiting for the right ship to come in. (If you have a few miles on your sports car and notches on your belt, you aren’t so likely to fear the wrath of the mixed metaphor police.)
Communication sometimes trumps style, and getting the point across is more important than “proper” forms.
On the other hand, you may be willing to fight for proper form every now and again. Especially when the form is related to some really important concept like courtesy and respect.
But I always try to keep R.W. Emerson’s wise maxim in mind: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.”
Anger is something else you don’t fear as much as you grow older. You learn when to turn the other cheek, but you also learn when it doesn’t serve anyone to let a bully have his or her way. Bullying harms everyone, including, long-term, the bully.
There is also a great power in righteous indignation. Unlike the anger fueled by emotions like hate and prejudice, which ultimately destroy, anger on behalf of a good cause can be energizing, cleansing and even healthy. Since human beings are good at fooling themselves, however, it’s safest to be sure your anger is righteous, always easier when you are fighting for someone else, for a cause from which you do not benefit directly and intimately.
Service is untimately more rewarding than selfishness.
Free-ranging, fearless friendship can be another dividend that comes with maturity.
With age you learn that the risks most worth taking are not physical or financial, but emotional, spiritual and intellectual. Never be afraid to reach out to new people, new cultures and new ideas.
“There is much coldness among men because we do not dare to be as cordial as we truly are,” Albert Schweitzer said.
Declare yourself. Speak out. Love and courage expand your world, hate and cowardice contract it.
At every stage of life, there can be moments of pure joy. Learn to recognize, appreciate and savor them.
S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at dmoore@lcsun-news.com; (575) 541-5450. To share comments, go to www.lcsun-news.com and click on Blogzone and Las Cruces Style.

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