Stumbled on TED talk, I (a much older person) sat through it (watching on YouTube) and listened to every word a millennial carefully crafted and spoke. It was well presented and showed good preparation with conviction. But I am not going to write about it this morning. I am writing about redeeming time. Why? Because I saw in the speaker my younger replica. I had tried out my youthful and young adult years pursuing my dream. I sought after an ideal life. I defined it by the potential happiness and human fulfillment I would experience if I had attained it. I thought I had all the means to exchange for human happiness —a good and kind heart, young, fit and healthy, highly educated, multi-cultured, very knowledgeable and intelligent, self-confident, versatile and successful in nearly everything that I work on, interesting and, of course, good-looking. (And big-headed)
I pursued and had intimate relationship with persons whom I thought would give me the happiness I wanted, and fill the void in my heart. I did not find lasting happiness in the first two relationships.
Finally at the onset of the third round I thought I would be happy for at least twenty years and then I would be satisfied and I would not need seek further. I lived with that dream for exactly twenty years and woke up to find myself alone again, in a comfortable, tasteful, but empty house again, talking to things, plants, air and sky, listening to sounds of others, mainly the functioning noises of the house, the environment, and lately, the wind and the rain.
After spending all the years of my younger adult life seeking for meaningful lasting happiness, I am asking several pertinent questions of a young person again. Is happiness beyond my reach, ever? What is the purpose for living, if any? Can time be redeemed? If so, how? If not, what can I do next? There are not many choices in the answers, in the context of the reality of time. So, is it too late to ask the questions? The answer is, it is never too late.
Is happiness beyond my reach, ever? Well, it is essential to re-define happiness in my life dictionary. To me, it is no longer relevant to have the kind of passionate emotion I once thought would bring happiness. What matters now is, have I lived a life that matters? And the answer is tied to the next question.
What is the purpose for living, if any? There is definitely a purpose for living. Each individual intrinsically knows their meaning. It is pre-programmed like a chip planted in each person’s being. In my personal belief, I believe God has implanted a purpose seed in my spirit. So what is my purpose and how come I have not lived it? I can attribute this to failure to listen to my spirit and/or deliberately choosing to interpret life the way I wanted.
Can time be redeemed? If so, how? If not, what can I do next? I have discovered that time cannot be redeemed in the human sense. No matter how careful I have tried to preserve my youthful looks, I still dread that first glance into the mirror every morning. One great teacher teaching “Redeeming Time”, declared whilst speaking to an auditorium of audience in mixed ages, “When I look into the mirror nowadays, I exclaim, no, this is not me, I used to be as good looking as…” All the young persons laughed. And the older ones stayed very still and quiet, reflecting. No, time cannot be redeemed in the human sense. All the past wrong turns, wrong decisions, wrong choices, wrong timings, wrong words spoken, wrong actions…like water that had flowed down the river into the vast ocean of time, cannot be reversed or replaced. No moving water remains the same, ever. That is how time is.
So, what shall I do next? This is the last remaining question today. (to be continued when time comes)
Kainotes, September 1, 2020