PERCEPTIONS: The growth curve
My twenty-something friends view me as a quirky dinosaur who lived in the Jurassic age. My senior citizen friends tell me I am still wet behind the years. Which is it? Am I on the way up or on my way out?
We have a strange obsession with measuring today by yesterday and tomorrow. Am I better or worse than a year ago? Is there any hope for next year? Am I wiser or more foolish? Healthier or more out of shape? Richer or poorer? Am I at my peak or past my prime?
Nature does not play our idiotic game. Spring’s bright entrance cannot be used as a yardstick to measure fall’s dramatic exit, nor is there any point of comparison between a hot summer day and a crisp winter morning. Each season has its unique glory.
Change does not require superiority and inferiority. Is a toddler better than a baby? A father than a son? A grandmother than a mother? We have a bad habit of putting everything in two categories: better and worse. We forget the most important category of all: other.
I reject the whole premise that the trajectory of life is like the arc of a rocket, blasting off with a lot of noise, hitting some lofty height, and falling ingloriously back to the ground. I think it is more like going around a curve than over the hill.
If you hold up the inevitable winter of life as evidence that we are falling from glory, I will remind you that every day closer to winter is a day closer to spring, and that winter has its own splendor.