Friday, April 28, 2017

Compassion in Aging

 היום שבעה עשר יום, שהם שני שבועות ושלשה ימים, בעמר
Today is seventeen days, which is two weeks and three days, of the omer
תפארת שבתפארת
A day of compassion in a week of compassion

As a person in my sixties with parents in their nineties, the flow of aging is often on my mind. I cannot know what it is like for my parents to face their final years, I can just support them on their journey in the time they have.

I do have some control over how I navigate the inevitable aging process -- physically, mentally, spiritually. To help me forge that path, I'm reading Zalman Schachter-Shalomi's From Age-ing to Sage-ing. It is there that I found this quote from Abraham Joshua Heschel that holds a key:
"One ought to enter old age the way one enters the senior year at a university, in exciting anticipation of consummation. The years of old age may enable us to attain the high values we failed to sense, the insights we have missed, the wisdom we ignored. They are indeed formative years, rich in possibilities to unlearn the follies of a lifetime, to see through inbred self-deceptions, to deepen understanding and compassion, to widen the horizon of honesty, to refine the sense of fairness."
כן יהי רצון   May it be so

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