Grateful Old Me

Privilege

November is my birthday month. This year I will officially become a senior at age 62. No benefits like Medicare are available yet but I can draw Social Security if I choose. Every business that offers a senior discount does so for 62-year-olds. Even though I won’t be Paul McCartney’s proverbial 64 yet, 62 seems significant. For one thing, 62 was the age Rob retired.

And, Lord God, I am blessed in many ways. By most anyone’s standards I am healthy, even well enough to pay the lowest premium for long-term care insurance. I’m wealthy too–in the top 1% worldwide with regards to material resources. Plus I have unearned privileges–born white in the U.S. where I Iearned to speak English early and easily. I have meaningful work and can afford to do it part-time. We enjoy a comfortable home, even own two houses. I am part of an intergenerational faith community, two of them actually. And I can travel around the world, crossing borders and then coming home again with relative ease. I have a diverse group of friends and wonderful neighbors. This year even my elderly mother is well and nearby. So are our children.

Sometimes I feel decadent and I am embarrassed by all this wealth and privilege. Why me? Especially given so much poverty, injustice and suffering everywhere. I understand the prayer, “Shield the joyous.”

I simply ask that I live in thanksgiving, learning ways to share goodness. I want to be a conduit, one that continues creating then giving away love in all forms. I want to flex enough to receive it back again too in a flurry of hearts and giant unending circles of reciprocity.

 

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