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Friday, 15 August 2014

I Believe

By Marc Leavitt of Marc Leavitt's Blog

As I was being wheeled into the operating theatre to be prepped and anaesthetized for major surgery, one of the two surgeons spoke to me briefly and remarked that I appeared to be “very stoic” about the whole situation.

I thought about his comment later. On one hand, I took it for a compliment; recognition that I was facing a difficult, life-threatening situation with fortitude and without fuss.

But on the other hand, how silly to preen over the remark; what choice did I have? I needed the operation; what good would whining do and why should his recognition that I wasn’t creating a lot of noise be seen as a virtue?

Old age is a lot like surgery: something to be gotten through; it beats the alternative.

I believe in one universal constant: change and in the world of creatures great and small, change is another word for life. We are born, we live and we die. That experience is shared by all and while it may be emotionally cathartic to “Cry out against the dying of the light,” all the sound and fury we can produce will do nothing to forestall the inevitable.

And I believe in making the best of every situation including the last quarter of life. Whatever the particulars of each individual’s situation, while life endures some details of our experience will prove to be of interest, a reason to get out of bed every morning, even in the face of pain and loss.

The social construct we have created and maintained in the West is a by-product of the Enlightenment paralleled by the Industrial Revolution. In a world where Man writ large has his hands on the levers of progress, nothing seems impossible.

We split the atom and created the Internet; surely, we can stay young and vital to the very end, if not finally find the secret to eternal life?

Carpe diem – seize the day – and enjoy it to the full.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


"I Believe" is a statement, not a story, but I admired the commentary anyhow.

"..a statement, not a story, but..."


Beautifully said, Marc. Years ago, I was sitting but a few feet away from the Dalai Lama when he said that the thoughts held at dying are what we bring foremost at the moment of re-birth. I don't believe in reincarnation, but the message was not lost. Choose life each day, seek beauty and wisdom, feel compassion. Smile.

Bob Lamb -- the fine print says pretty much anything original and personal can go here, as long as it is not too long. Welcome to the mix!

Marc Leavitt -- I totally agree with everything you say, Marc, except for the word 'should' -- I bet your stoicism makes his job a lot easier.

Good post, well-said and eloquent, IMHO

Your attitude is one I strive for. Thanks for putting it into words I don't have.

Nice to be reminded.

Stories from one's own personal experiences--life stories--are what make up most of the postings on here, and when I was posting regularly (and hope to get back to it soon) were the ones that people said they found most inspirational and helpful. "Story" no longer means a made-up tale (if it ever did)--I suggest you look in the archives and read a few of the blogs.

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