Sunday, March 15, 2009

I find it sad

I read more and more stories in the news about older people losing their jobs. Now, that may be a sad state of affairs, but not as sad as the aftermath. So many of these people are quoted as not knowing what to do with their time. The loss of human productivity through lack of alternatives is appalling. It doesn't seem to occur to these people to volunteer at a local charity, or library, or homeless shelter, or volunteer at the local school.

What about learning? There are always hundreds of free classes, on-line, off-line or from schools, community colleges or universities. What about learning a new trade, a new language, a new way of life? What about starting a new business? Or just getting out and exercising and enjoying nature?

There are the exceptions. One man in our neighborhood, upon losing his job, has turned his whole back yard into a productive garden, growing fruit and vegetables to feed his family. Personally, if I were to lose my job (not likely, by the way unless through illness or senility) I have so many projects in place, lined up, that it would be years before I ever had a day off.

The tragedy of life isn't in the things we lose, but in what we do or do not do with what is left.

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