I have routinely maintained two seemingly conflicting opinions about what I think generally. One, I consider there is little if anything that I can do or say to convince others of any particular course of action. To take an extreme example, it amounts to mere pretence to tell a drunk what to do. They have to make their own decision and no waffling from me will make a pinch of difference. Two - and this is the contrary view - I consider it an obligation of others (especially those who are older) to share what they know and have learned about this life. For this reason some advancement of what I believe are axiomatic truths is not entirely unwarranted or misguided.
Governing these polar opposites of involvement is the central effort to live by one's own theses and to formulate what might constitute an expression of them to oneself. This may sound repetitive of an identical posture but it captures the dissimilarity of instinctive behaviour and intellectual summary. Call it if you will the examination of things. Too often we engage in mere performance without the additional element of reflection. If one assumes (as I do) that it is impossible to grasp the substance of events without an abstract review of them, then it behooves us to lay down the shovel, put up our feet and contemplate what we've done. This idle undertaking is seldom afforded in a state of activity. One must give it a rest in order to gather the insight of the moment.
The narrowing of ambition is an unquestionable advantage in my opinion. To limit one's so-called "bucket list" is no indignity as far as I'm concerned. This doesn't imply a complete dilution of possibilities; rather it entails an intensity of limited propositions. I personally favour the recognition of the compass of our being. If that is true then it only makes sense to dwell upon the matters which are within our scope. After one has survived six or more decades it is acceptable to confine oneself to what we've adopted within those limits. There is a point after which the ingenuity of our being is likely beginning to wane. In addition the delay of the consultation might be ill advised.
For the moment I am prepared to survey what surrounds me - the people, the events and the things. It is no doubt but a temporary evaluation, albeit an edacious one. But I intend to profit by the transition from the old to the new, by what may be merely the appearance of change, reigniting the growth from within.