“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”
- Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela was a highly gifted world leader who battled against the apartheid regime in South Africa, and after many years of incarceration on Robin Island become President of that country. Mandela encapsulated the spirit of the journey many of us older people might be making (to a far lesser degree than Mandela) within our own lives.
Ageing/wisdom experiences beyond any physical health, mobility or similar restrictions can become challenging, inhibiting and restrictive. At the same time, because of our life experiences, this time period can be highly rewarding as it provides time for meaningful reflection, exploration, greater contribution to the world and can be spiritually fulfilling.
Mandela’s long walk to freedom reflects consciously that our ‘spirit’ is on one continuous infinite journey. Each one of us has a God-given right of free will (however you conceive this to mean) to decide how we meet changes, and make adaptations and transformations that occur as we grow older.
I believe the following individuals and organisations lead the way in reflections on ageing and wisdom: Tom Pinkson, The Tao Institute, Ron Pevny, John C Robinson, Ashton Applewhite, Cathy Carmody, and the Conscious Elders Network.
Sample extract from the AGEING/WISDOM SELECTION
1. Tom Pinkson: Fruitful Aging: Finding The Gold In The Golden Years Click here
A NEW WAY OF SEEING
“A new way comes from trusting the presence and creative wisdom of this invisible reality that underlies physical manifestation, call it spirit, God, Goddess, call it sacred mystery or whatever works for you. The name isn’t so important. What is important is whether you are able to surrender into it peacefully letting go of attachment to how you want people and things to be.
Surrendering to a mysterious invisible higher power is different from giving up. Giving up is quitting, usually with anger, frustration, blame, shame, feelings of failure. Surrender is accepting that you are not able to change this troublesome situation that is upsetting you.
Surrendering is releasing your burdens with faith into bigger hands trusting that the sacred mystery wisdom will somehow, in some way that can’t be seen or known at this time, deliver an outcome that is for the greatest good for all concerned.
The challenge and the opportunity is to make faith an active verb by surrendering.”
Tom Pinkson, Fruitful Aging - Finding the Gold in The Golden Years, 2013, USA. ISBN 13-9780-615-78541-7.