Thursday, June 13, 2013

Successful Retirement In a Brave New World

The most important factor in a successful retirement, is a successful life -- which is one's baseline health.  If that is good, one can do anything one feels like doing; if it is bad, then one will not feel like doing anything at all, and there is no pleasure in it -- but only the constant torment of pain.

So before one considers doing anything else in retirement, first consideration should be given to improving one's health to the highest degree of actualization possible -- because that component of improvement, is the greatest thing one can do for oneself.  That should be obvious as the best thing one can do in "retirement" -- which should not mean a slow and steady deterioration, but the opportunity to focus all one's energies, efforts and resources in what is obviously critical to do -- and if one doesn't, then a steady deterioration is the only fate possible.

An unfortunate few will choose that fate -- despite everyone around them telling them they are drinking themselves to death, or allowing themselves by inactivity to become even more morbidly obese and immobile (incapable); they just have given up wanting to do anything more for themselves -- yet expect that others should make them well.  The first requirement of a good patient, is that they themselves want to make themselves well, and if they are not willing to do that, they will undermine the efforts of everyone else to improve them -- as their personal contest in life, to overcome all the others, and in that way, assert their superiority.

Healthy people will assume that the objective of all people, is to get better -- and never suspect for a moment, that some people's objective is to get worse -- so they can get all the help (attention) they want, which should be apparent, is not a sustainable, healthy way to be. Even as young people, the overriding objective of life, is to become as independent and self-sustaining as possible, so one doesn't have to be at the mercy of others -- and at the extreme, "dependent on the kindness of strangers," to provide for their every need and desire.

That would be a very inefficient society -- and such a society would produce overly dependent (dysfunctional) people -- predictably.  One could say that nothing else would be possible.  But that seems to be the cultural expectation up to this point -- that retirement doesn't make a better life possible, but only to sustain life as it gets worse, but every development in the progress and evolution of life, serves to create a critical mass that becomes transformative in itself -- that is, takes on a life of its own greater intelligence than could have been foreseen from the original intentions.

That's obviously what happens, when a senior population increasingly becomes a greater percentage of the entire population -- which is unprecedented in human experience and history.  Does that society become dedicated and overwhelmed with "caregiving," or does it become something else entirely different -- because it has to.  The most likely manifestation, is that people learn to take far better care of themselves -- in order not to require that everybody else has to take care of them because they cannot take care of themselves -- primarily, which is the efficient and economical way to be -- and to do things.

It is much less efficient, to require an army of "professionals" to do everything for every individual, than it is for each individual to provide for themselves -- to the best that they can, as the world's leading expert on themselves, and what they want, and how they respond specifically to any modalities.  That signals the ending of mass (media) society, and the "One size fits all -- or else," model of emerging mass production societies.  Now, each individual becomes their own expert and cottage industry -- customized to optimize their own existence -- as the individualization that makes self-actualization meaningful for each individual.

That, obviously, is not possible in the mass (media) culture -- in which everyone has to march to only one tune (decided by?) -- but entirely possible, and healthy, for every individual in their uniquely own way.  In fact, the tools of our times, requires it.  That is the age of the personal computer.  People aren't different because they are forced to be; they are different because they choose to be -- including that critical choice of whether one chooses to be better (healthier), or chooses to be worse -- so they can obtain increasingly more help and resources.

All rich people, are not alike, nor are all poor people.  Some rich people, will choose to live as though they are poor, while some poor people, will choose to live as though they are rich -- defying the stereotype that is bane of their classification -- of people invariably with diminished capacities living in delusions, mere shadows of their former vibrant, robust selves.

Most people are the way they think they are expected to be -- rather than as they choose themselves to be.  That is true of young people as well, but after a lifetime of living to everyone else's expectations of who one ought to be -- the real successes are invariably those few, who live the life they choose for themselves -- which few can overcome their lifelong conditioning, simply to live the same way everyone else has done before -- and not the brave, new life now possible to create  for themselves -- because they actually can.


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