Su Zhen lives temporarily in a fancy apartment complex, in which parts of it belongs to a retirement community. Every morning when she goes downstairs to have breakfast, she has a chance to mingle with them. She can tell by the way they dress that all of these senior citizens used to be “somebody” in their society. They dress nicely and are accompanied by a private nurse. However, despite their good material standing and prior successes, some, if not all of them, seem to be losing their passion for life.
So how can very successful people end up feeling like a loser? It is not hard to imagine that we could share their fate one day, even if we are very successful at what we do for most of our adult life. Our society is scared of the old, and all of us unconsciously take on this belief set too. We poke fun at old people, hoping to forget that one day we will be like them.
Repression of old-age is a sure way to create this fate for ourself. Only when we are mindful of our fears and our prejudices can we save ourselves from creating this outcome. Are we only entitled to feel good about ourselves when we contribute economically to our society? It is a fine line between an enlightened soul residing in the wilderness in meditation and a homeless person, is it not?
Can we keep the spiritual fire burning even to the end of our life? Can we still be proud of ourselves even we don’t look young and beautiful any more and have a few physical ailments? Well, isn't that what a spiritual path is all about? To surround ourselves with precious people and a meaningful occupation instead of fame and wealth. And to find the peace and love inside ourselves no matter what may happen on the outside. I am precious here and now. I Am that I Am!
By Christian and Su Zhen