Monday, June 22, 2015

Authors of our Life

"All we ask is to be allowed to remain the writers of our own story.  A story that is ever changing..... Whatever happens, we want to retain the freedom to shape our lives in ways consistent with our character and loyalties"  ("Being Mortal" by Atul Gawande). 

Antul Gawande explores the challenges of assisted living (what Mom just experienced) and the tension between independence and interdependence.  In America we stress freedom in ways of individualism, autonomy, free of coercion and limitation.  Yet all of our lives are interdependent - especially at birth and near death. 

How interesting that he changes the goal of aging from freedom and safety to that of being the authors of our life.  "The battle of being mortal is the battle to maintain the integrity of one's life - to avoid becoming so diminished or dissipated or subjugated that who you are becomes disconnected from who you were or who you want to be."

It's difficult to accept declines in physical and intellectual capacity as we age - but others (including loved ones) need to understand that confining peoples choices (for their "own good") is the same as trying to write their story into your book.

It's your story to write -  and for others to enjoy reading.

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