Traditional Chief of Koyukon Athabaskans
Friday, November 14, 2014
I HAVE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE
Last week on Real Time with Bill Maher Bill did a monologue about age; he said America is one of the few countries that does not venerate the aged. He went on to say that old people are smarter than young people because they have seen it all before.
Having lived for twelve years in Indian, Yup’ik and Inuit villages of Alaska I can relate first hand to cultures that venerate elders.
I can also agree that every individual is smarter as an elder than he or she was in their younger years; but, if you were an ignorant young person, and ignorant middle age person, you are probably going to be an ignorant old person. It’s all relative.
I am an elder - and I am one hell of a lot smarter in my old age than I was as a young person; but, that is not saying much – again it is all relative.
I have never claimed to be a sage old owl, but just an Ol’Buzzard that has soared in the air currents and sat on tree limbs and rocky crags and watched – and now I remember.
Any opinions I have are naturally biased as they have been filtered through my personal experiences, likes and dislikes, prejudices and intellect (or lack thereof) during my seventy years+++ of chaos.
As an elder I look at the current state of affairs and am not particularly concerned. I have seen this all before: war, social ills, prejudice, bigotry, confusion, dysfunctional government, politicians motivated by selfish avarice, ignorance and religious fervor.
The one thing I can say for sure is that we never learn and we will do it all over again: we are destine to perform the same play, slightly modified to time and place, and with different actors – but with the same outcome.
ADVICE FROM AN ELDER
Don’t despair - there are things you can do: get a nice bottle of wine, enjoy a good meal, have sex with your significant other and chill out.
A ZEN STORY
A man came to the Buddha seeking contentment. He said, “I want happiness.”
The Buddha replied, “First remove the ‘I’ that is ego. Then remove the ‘want’ that is desire. Now you are left only with happiness.”
Enjoy the Now.