A book that many of us longs to write would be entitled, “lessons learned in my life”.
Once you reach a certain age, life and thought is filled with the desire to be different. Life itself is divided in two, a before and an after and there is a given interest in transmitting to the next generation what has been important and the best of life. In the passage of the years, we are blessed with moments of joy where we are able to touch the sublime. Moments of sadness and loneliness are not absent, and they carry with them the memory of defeat and failure. The “lessons learned in my life”, are many and maybe not so many at that. What are simple stands out? Borges would say, “If I could live my life over again … I would not attempt to be so perfect … I would contemplate more sunsets … I would eat more ice cream”. The lesson that Borges teaches is that we need to take advantage of life and not waste it.
Not only the passage of time, also what we have been suffering for more than a year, the pandemic, asks that we recognize that there are lessons to be learned and lessons to transmit. The pandemic has given us moments of pain colored by the multi-colored tier of directives: green, yellow, orange, red, purple. The thought has crossed every mind, “what I would give to have just one more minute with my mom, or dad, or son or daughter, or brother, or sister, or friend … that Covid has taken away”. What have we learned? What do we need to transmit to the next generation?
We have to distinguish between what is important and not too much. Family is important, to do whatever I want, is not so much. To be grateful is important, to be greedy is not so much. To believe in God is important, to live a life without conviction, not so much. What else could be added to the list? There are lessons to be learned, lessons to transmit, but most important, lessons to put into practice – to live them. Someone, somewhere, said “this needs to happen, the very soul is at risk”. Borges comes to the end of his poem, moments, by saying “yes, if I could live my life over again … but as you can see, death approaches”.
The soul of humanity does seem at risk. Young persons no longer have dreams, or perhaps we who are old, have made ourselves blind to their dreams. The old have ceased to live, or have we become addicted to the past?
To reach a certain age, to have crossed the desert of a pandemic, places us in a privileged circumstance. We stand at the portal of a new moment in one’s life and the life of humanity. Without doubt, the celebration of the Lord’s Resurrection is part of this. The portal leads to a new creation, with many lessons learned, many lessons to transmit, many lessons to live by.
Father Francisco Gómez, S.T.