Thursday, March 15, 2012

First Half of Life?

First & Second Lives - Fully Integrated

Reading Richard Rohr's - "Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life", I was reminded last evening about viewing from the second half. Having dinner in a beautiful Maui restaurant at the casual setting of the bar - in close proximity to other diners -  a darling young couple settled into their places next to us. Both, almost simultaneously, asked the bartender for some sort of delicious non-alcoholic beverage for the wife as "they" were pregnant.

We struck up a conversation about the strawberry, frothy milkshake libation that came and then laughingly engaged in conversation with them about when the baby was due, their first, how exciting......etc. As we visited a flash of Rohr's rhetoric came into my head as I clearly observed them chronologically and experience wise in their first half, with us observing and visiting with them from our second. We imparted parent-like, congratulatory, loving comments on their expected treasure knowing that they had NO apparent reason to be overly concerned with first half/second half issues - only with the now, only with their youth, only with their child.  I believe that's the only way the first half of life can be viewed when you're in it.

Maybe to the point though, this is not the first time I've felt myself looking "back" at couples, and youth in general, living life as though there were no second half - only the now of youthfulness....  a wonderful time of innocence and naivete.   There is really no reason they should be looking at the second half (aside from financial planning, healthy living, and retirement investments:) ONLY IN THAT how much better off could we all be if we had put more planning into our living as long as we have and as long as we hope to live.  

It seems to me that if we've had the good fortune to reach the second half of our lives (and I'm talking to most of us over 40, hoping to make that 80 number at least) we might give some thought as to how we might influence first halfers a bit more  - without heavy handed preaching or advice.

First half can be so rough - we of the second half have much to offer, much to pass on, much love to give those in their first halves! With just a little more effort toward mentoring, exhorting, and influencing of young adult lives toward their spiritual development - their lives walked with God - their financial decisions, their healthy life styles - couldn't we make their paths less rocky, not rockless, just less rocky - offering them a rake to smooth their gravelly path?  Yet advice, rather than mentoring or influencing, can be viewed as second-hand (not as good as first hand) advice.....not really worthy of taking......I mean, did we listen, did we think those in the second half of their lives were anything other than old?  If only we could figure out how to share more together between the halves.

1 comment:

  1. I think it is a bit like St Francis' teaching about the Gospel - preach it and sometimes use words. Rhor seems to suggest that it is by travelling and accepting the need to travel through the energy and newness of the first half into a healthy mature second half that we become the wise elders that the young look up to by example and, I suppose, relationship.
    It isn't about not making mistakes but what to do with the mistakes.
    Not that second half-ers never make mistakes :))