My heart grieves over someone I know whose life shrinks as it progresses. Shrinking is the only way I can describe it. Less friendship, less grace, less generosity, less joy, less flexibility. The only things I notice more of are more hoarding, more grudges and more judgments on the sorry condition of the rest of the human race.
How did this happen? Surely in the beginning of life there was some measure of joyful abandon and hope for a good future. Surely there were gifts and talents stirring which could have made a contribution to others. Surely there was a desire for love; both to give and receive. But now everything has been whittled down until we are left with just a stub of a person.
We all make choices along the way; choices that will enlarge us or shrivel us. They can be such small things as they present themselves that we hardly realize which path they are leaning us toward. When someone doesn’t want to do things our way we can stop being friends. When we are inconvenienced, we can avoid the people who might repeat the infraction. We can keep our things to ourselves rather than share our time, energy or finances.
They say that as people get older they get set in their ways. That’s fine if their “ways” are such things as kindness, generosity, zest for living, tolerance, LOVE. It’s okay to get set in those.
We enter life small and helpless but no one has to leave the same way. We’re meant to grow. It’s never too late for a U-turn. It’s our choice.