I turned 56 today, which makes me closer to sixty rather than 50. A liberating thought, given that this is my age of active wisdom, according to Mary Catherine Bateson in her book “Composing a Further Life.” I finished the book today, which seemed appropriate given her message, which focuses on a simple message (but not so simple in practice):
“We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn.”
— Mary Catherine Bateson
Her thoughts and ideas were expressed in a way that encouraged exploration of multiple possibilities. Life is ambiguous, learning is incremental, and love hope and joy are precious. Mary Catherine shared the stories of people who lived full lives and who now embrace the future with curiosity and mindfulness.
Just a small caveat: Mary Catherine interviewed highly educated and financially secure individuals, who were able to immerse themselves in thoughtful debate about their purpose, mission and participation in a global, culturally diverse world. Most people are concerned about the mundane matters of life: having a roof over their head and feeding/clothing their children. Perhaps there is another book ready to be written.