The very idea of retirement is now not only outdated, but outright barbarous.
We have been preconditioned and desperately long for retirement. We all pine for the days when we don’t have to file into work anymore, into our real or imagined cubicles, to follow a set of predetermined systems and procedures, in order to achieve a set of measureable predetermined results.
And for what?
We work so hard to pay off our mortgage, to educate our children, to have a healthy investment portfolio, and to maximize our retirement package. If you’re lucky.
But for what?
We salivate and await our curtain call. We wait for our moment to finally rest. To retire. To finally get to the important things of life. Our moment of greatness. That moment of anticipated glory and majesty, of doing, and being everything we promised ourselves we would be, when the day would finally come.
The grand finale of illusion.
The truth is, there really is no retirement.
There is only living and then the rest is silence.
Living requires work. Living involves pain. Living calls for sacrifice. It calls for perpetual sweat and toil.
There is always something. Something to do. Something to overcome. A promise to fulfill.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, or what health condition you find yourself in. It doesn’t matter, because life demands and nudges all of us, to keep expressing the simple truth and glory of being alive.
But how do we treat wisdom and the glory of being alive?
When you get old. When you retire. When you finally learn something worthwhile to share and leave behind, the world no longer finds a use for you.
The next generation of dreamers gets to work reinventing a somewhat worn but still a well-built wheel. But they never ask about the road ahead.
The road ahead.
They work so efficiently and so tirelessly, and so blindly, I hasten to add, just like you did, to get a head, to build that perfect thingamajig, and to steal precious time from the things you promised yourself you would finally get to, when you had the chance, and definitely, when you retired.
I hope you were lucky.
I hope you loved and accepted love in turn. That you build a loving family and that the wisdom of your old age is not a burden, but has become a beacon and a celebration of a well lived life.
Those didn’t are usually being locked up.
They are in a prison.
They sit alone, in retirement homes, in hospital beds, in dark basements, waiting and hoping that someone, anyone, will come and spend some time with them.
So much wisdom wasted.
So much wisdom locked up and hidden from the world.
So many songs yet unsung.
But the young will always remain restless and misdirected. It’s the human condition. They chase bright shiny objects and are so easily distracted by the simplest flutter of a butterfly.
They too are alone.
They live inside their headphones. Inside their social media compounds. They guard their feelings. They hide. They run. They take shelter inside the countless photos of things they do not really care about. They take pride in accomplishments they will soon forget. They are agitated, impatient, and hungry in their search for meaning.
They are everywhere.
They are no different than you and I.
I wish they could leave their prison.
I wish they could visit wisdom. To go where wisdom lives. Abandoned. Forgotten. Retired.
If we could only get them talking.
That would be a marvelous sight.
A fulfillment of a dream. A promise delivered. A beautiful and magical sight of hope.
I for one still believe.
I believe in wisdom.
I just no longer believe in retirement.