My questioning of the meaning of life is so childish and homespun that I should not really be committing these random thoughts to anyone’s sight. Ah well – I might get some help so it may be worth it. In my time, mainly in the brightness of youth, I read amazing philosophers; Sartre, Simone Weil, Bede Griffiths, Theilard de Chardin … I worshipped at the light of their beautiful intellects. But now shadows quickly appear in my brain like veils separating me from the original epiphany or clarity I achieved for a second, when first I was illuminated … so I am left with this nagging humble simple questioning which I am sure is clear to everybody else which is ‘why am I – why are you – so lucky?’ This line of thought always tangles round me whenever I am in countries which have incredible wealth for the few and desperate poverty for the many – and you cannot ignore it. How is it that you and I have such an extraordinary powerful, sensory beautiful life when so many others, in so many countries are physically, spiritually, creatively, emotionally and intellectually deeply suffering. Their lives stretch endlessly ahead with no ‘let up’ from the relentlessness of fear, injustice, torture, loss … why are ours full of joy, kindnesses, beauty, love and meaning? Why are we then not motivated by our luckiness to all put our shoulders to the wheels of action, solidarity, giving, advocacy … why are we not searingly motivated to help others. Yes, of course we all do a bit, monthly debits to charities, texts to Amnesty – but in a way it’s worse than nothing – because it only takes the edge off our guilt and allows us to co-exist with the status quo. Yes, of course we do the best we can in our own every day life – living a life of kindness (except for time off to moan) … but the kindness does not hook up with other people’s kindness and create a groundswell that spills into reform or mellowing hearts. Whenever I visit any church, and I love them all, I am always amazed the stone pillars are still standing. Why are they not melted by the intensity of people’s love and hopes for themselves and others. Why can we not melt others hearts by a tsunami of kindness. Or action. If anyone can draw my attention to any poet or philosopher who can help me think more intelligently about why some, like me and you are so lucky and others are deeply tragically suffering, then please tell me.
And, of course, the more superficial question of old age!
I feel my age even more in Brazil – gorgeous golden girls everywhere, shining with vitality, health and a sparkle of adventure. Working and playing hard. I watch the men watch them. I miss the fact I now never warrant a second look, a raised eyebrow or a twinkle in the eye. I miss the younger me. She was so much leaner, more fluid in her movements, more knowing and with a cheeky confidence. I remember her well. Not a stunner – but she had the light of having been loved and was good company. I know my mother grieves every day for the loss of the life, looks and the old loves.
So, next existential question – what is the point of old age if society has no place for its elders. Please keep answers brief – the concentration has gone now!!!
Ah well, at least the fruit sellers appreciate the ripeness of old fruit!!!”
Web Manager’s Note
Jenny wrote this whilst on a conference trip for South American schools to Brazil. Jenny first visited St. Paul’s School in Sao Paulo. Jenny participated in the school’s first ever education conference entitled “Educating to keep Pace with Change” and was amongst other key international speakers including Carol Ann Tomlinson, Dylan Williams, Mark Church and Margaret MacLean. Jenny went on to train in several schools in Brazil. This blog is one five juicy segments of Jenny’s Brazilian blog.
Jenny and her model have been instrumental in an important action research project in India entitled Safe and Sensitive Schools – click the link here to see a video that has resulted from the research.
She regularly contributes keynotes, training and workshops at large conferences in the UK and abroad. If you are holding a conference in the UK or abroad do phone 01225 767157 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we can help with keynotes and workshops.
A Golden Freebie!
Here is one of Jenny’s Jenny Mosley’s Golden Inspirations cards. We will be giving away samples from Jenny’s Golden Inspiration and Golden Moment regularly with Jenny’s blogs and on Facebook so start collecting now!