A thought-provoking quote from Joan Didion. Thought provoking for anyone at any stage of life. Perhaps more thought provoking for those of us on the cusp of retirement, which is the transition from a life of work to . . . what?
Ms. Didion’s comment, “I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package,” particularly caught my eye. The weekly newspaper in my Maryland beach town had an editorial this week that began thus: “From a public relations standpoint, this has been the summer from hell in Ocean City.” My first reaction on reading that sentence was, “The editor is going to regret those words.” Maybe so, but at least he was seizing the moment, taking the risk. Civilization seems to be in decline. — John Hayden
“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”
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