This writer is fifty-eight now.
Thus in two years (for him, about two WEEKS – one’s temporal perception accelerates with age) he will be sixty.
And on that day, he will enter the Fourth Quarter of his life.
For a man’s life is divided into four parts. One: 0-19 – childhood. Two: 20-39 – young adulthood. Three: 40-59 – middle-age. And four: 60-79 – OLD age. (80-plus is FREAKISH old age).
But why are so many people over sixty GROUCHY? (Or if you are American – snarky).
It is because they have spent most of their lives looking FORWARD – but now, for the first time, everything they had hoped for is in the PAST.
However, this observer is lucky enough NOT to be grouchy OR snarky. Why is that? Because, by accident AND design (mostly design) he USED the first three Quarters of his life well.
He experienced most of what This Place has to offer (oh, he could tell you some stories) – and he determined what was REALLY important – and WENT for it. And along the way, he GOT it.
But experience is only part of what our World has to offer. More important is the right Life Partner. It took him fifteen years of active searching (during which time he went through over a hundred WRONG ones) but he eventually NAILED it.
Then comes knowledge. Not FACTS – no less than Einstein himself rightly stated that he never bothered committing anything to memory he could look up in a book. No, what is needed is an UNDERSTANDING of how this existence – and one’s fellow-travellers – works and work.
And around two years ago, the last bits of the Jigsaw Of Life fell into place for him and he suddenly realised he KNEW what this life was ABOUT.
But therein lay his problem. He had burst forth upon this planet and had sought – and FOUND – TRUTH. He quickly discovered it dwelt not in any religion. What was termed “faith” was merely a crutch which lazy people leaned on, instead of taking the trouble to seek out their OWN truth and take responsibility for the care of themselves and others.
Neither did it lie in achievement, the acquisition of wealth, power, fame or approbation by others – the only person who judges a man is himself.
Nevertheless, many people blunder through this life, aware only of the small picture. They see no-one but themselves. No country outside their own. No people except their immediate neighbours. They become side-tracked from what is really important, by material things. And they believe the system is honest and will care for them.
Thus, when they turn sixty and it finally dawns on them that they have WASTED the only thing they ever really possessed – their LIVES – they become cynical, disillusioned and ultimately, ANGRY – at THEMSELVES.
This humble scribe worked hard to accomplish what he has – and had some luck too. And so now he is at peace, whiling away the time he has left – and writing essays like this one – which may JUST help someone who is still WELL short of THEIR Fourth Quarter.
Like YOU perhaps?