Impermanence

There’s nothing like a visit to aging parents to get your priorities in order.  Many of us baby boomers nurture the old folks as best we can, as they uselessly while away the years in cloistered communities.  That generation built our world, and now they wander the corridors aimlessly, their living assisted but their lives remaining shrouded in mystery.

A friend recently reminded us that business should not be an end in itself, but it should be a vehicle to take us to our dreams.  For my parents’ generation, the world they built after World War II was so glorious as to seem a dream come true.  But my peers and I have turned so much of their culture upside down, and the changes since the 60s and 70s appear to threaten the old folks’ core values and proud accomplishments. They have a hard time understanding that their business was a vehicle to today, and not the crowning achievement they were sure they had created.

As we develop our brands, and innovate,  and find new ways to work, it’s useful to reflect on today’s seniors and remember that our innovations are fluid things, ripe at any time for change.  Like a new car, a great idea begins to depreciate as soon as it’s implemented. 

We grow our businesses because it’s necessary to earn a living, and it is the way we know to satisfy material needs.  We innovate because such modifications improve our income, and keep our interest peaked.  In these writings, I urge the development of personal creativity because such practice will keep open your windows of possibility, and guard against fear and atrophy.  Even so, this mid-week morning I’m here to remind us that none of this is final, it is all vehicular, carrying us to unknown worlds beyond.

I don’t know what will happen when my generation reaches the stage of dementia.  There are too many of us and we can ill afford the astronomical costs of assisted living.  I do know that we’ll be vastly happier then, however, if we take care now to understand our lives as journeys, and our achievements – no matter how grand or revolutionary – as mere baby steps on the long road to heaven. 

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