I am convinced that most of life is wasted for many people in America. As children we seem to have this mindset that life isn’t complete until we get older. We enviously await the day when we can get our driver’s license, see an ‘R’ rated movie, graduate High School, and drink alcohol. When we get older, we shape our thinking of our lives around the envy of those with youth. We enter our mid-life crisis when we frantically try to recapture our youth with vacations, fast vehicles, and younger men or women. Much of our advertising and marketing manipulate us into believing that this is what is truly important. The younger generation is the generation of ‘promise’. So, we fantasize about a life that could have been, or we force onto someone a life that could be (coincidentally robbing them of their own childhood).
We as a society have become addicted to clinging onto our youth. I have come to believe that it is best to let your childhood die in your childhood. Unfortunately, most psychological damage that happens to us must be dealt with at a later time, so it is nearly impossible to completely leave it. But, there is a certain wisdom in letting a child be a child. There is a certain wisdom in letting an adult be an adult. There is an even greater wisdom in the mature wisdom of a child (the sense of awe, beauty, and simple joy) and carrying it into our adult life. But, children are also narcissistic (they have to be in order to survive and develop) and immature, and this should not be carried into adulthood. It scares me to say that most people are afraid to die.
I think we as human beings are afraid to die because we haven’t found out how to truly live. Part of this is our addicted to our youth. And, in our youth, very few people are there to teach us how to be children. Then, when we are done being children, there are very few people equipped to help us transition into life-filled adulthood. I think this is why initiation into adulthood and actually having wise elders is so important. )Something, we can’t have unless we embrace the wisdom of our own age.) 35% of all health care costs are spent trying to preserve the last year of a person’s life. If we wanted to fix health care reform, we wouldn’t fight it out with the government or the insurance companies; we’d be there to teach people that it’s okay to die. As Christians, if we can teach people how to live all of their life, then death won’t be something that is resisted. If we weren’t addicted to our unlived life, the years that have passed us by, the experiences that we have failed to find meaning in, then death wouldn’t seem like such a loss. As Christians, because we believe in the afterlife, then hopefully this life is a mere continuation into the next one. Because we have become so addicted to being young, we will never truly realize what it is to be old. And, when we become old, we will desperately try to escape our inevitable death. To find wholeness of life means that we are to include all of life, not just the parts that we are told matter.