Monday, 17 January 2022

Coping with the uncertainties of life

AMONG all the difficult issues facing our country at present two seem to stand out, mainly because they

AMONG all the difficult issues facing our country at present two seem to stand out, mainly because they deal with the problems of age, so perhaps it is appropriate to consider these in the autumn month of September.

The first is the way elderly people are being looked upon and treated.

It seems that a great deal of blame is being heaped upon the so-called Baby Boomers for the state of life as it is today but without any recourse to individual circumstances or what sort of influences people may have had in their lives, there is just too much generalisation.

Naturally a lot of what we hear about comes through the media, which always tends to feed us bad news in headlines with good news tucked away in small print, or is non-existent.

There are exceptions to all statements, of course, and the previous one does not apply to the Henley Standard!

Certainly in the national news it is usually up to the reader/listener to seek out some balance and perspective in the way we receive all reports.

Sadly, it is also human nature to focus on personal issues and prejudices to see how each of us may be affected.

My husband and I are just slightly too old to be Baby Boomers but have often remarked recently that “the bridges are falling down behind us” as we have certainly benefited from life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

But we did begin our married lives together in 1970 with very little indeed and have worked hard all our lives. Enormous changes have also occurred since then and we have lived through the most wondrous and amazing times too.

The second issue concerns young people growing up today and the recent reports of how unhappy they are.

I certainly don’t envy young people living today with so much pressure on them: so many expectations; the need to constantly achieve; the lack of employment; zero hours working; not enough housing — the list is endless — and, sadly, no space at all for most to seek the spiritual life in spite of the obvious need.

Even the smallest children appear to be having to grow up so fast that they are losing their sense of wonder quickly.

These two extremes highlight the loss of overall care and respect for one another and of each other’s real needs and requirements and there seems to be no one answer to why this has happened, except that life changes do occur but we appear to have forgotten how to deal with, and cope with, the uncertainties of life.

We also seem to have abandoned our sense of faith and eternity and discovered a sense of underlying fear, which can only be harmful.

I recently came upon this quote by Albert Einstein, which is so true: “There is, after all, something eternal that lies beyond the reach of the hand of fate and of all human delusions and such eternals lie closer to an older person than to a younger one who oscillates between fear and hope.”

May we all, young or old, put our trust in the eternal, and unconditional, love of God and never cease to find hope.

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