October 18, 2015
Good morning, good friends,
While the idea of hallowing diminishment is not exhausted either in concept, materials, or my experience, I am. I think I am bored as well.
Boredom can be a highly productive experience. Boredom functions as an important component of the immune system of the authentic self. If permitted, it can serve as motivation to move on in the journey. Boredom signals: enough study of the condition of the traveler and the details of the map. Travel.
Boredom also functions as an antidote to narcissism.
From time to time most of us in the pursuit of worthwhile self-awareness can develop a mild preoccupation with analyzing ourselves and our lives. At that point, a healthy sense of humor usually convicts us of the absurdity of over-devotion to the study of oneself. If laughter does not correct the error, boredom eventually (thankfully) comes to our rescue. Enough already. Been there and seen that.
Self-understanding and the effort required to achieve it are essential disciplines of effective living. But the capacity to become bored with ourselves, and to recognize that boredom for what it is, seems to me a sign of good sense and a hopeful artifact of maturity.
For those of you who wish to continue thinking about aging in the context of human development, I have a very wise and reader-friendly book to recommend—Being Mortal, by Atul Gawande.
Do not settle into an incautious sense of relief, however. I have not abandoned thinking about aging, simply laid it aside for now. I will, however, give you a heads-up when I suspect a return to thinking about the challenging end-stage of the life journey. You can decide if you want to continue the journey with me at that time.
Meanwhile, in the intermission, consider with me another question.
What are the significant distinctives between mercy and grace? While both express God’s love, they are not synonyms.
Thinking with you that aging well requires us to look away from ourselves. Ending well requires paradoxically self-attention and benign neglect of the individual through focus on something larger than ourselves.
In God’s mercy and grace, I will see you next week.