Patterns with Death

My 65th birthday isn’t the only reason I’m thinking about end of life. I’m hearing stories of death and dying from many people: Family, friends, friends of family, and families of friends. We also mark the passing of a generation that lived with the Holocaust, WWII, and the birth of TV and rock and roll. We experience the ultimate outcomes of the opioid industry, big oil, and the gun lobby, either in person or through the media. It would seem that death is all around us.

On the other hand, we see opportunity for transformation. Poverty, public health, education, communication are moving many people around the world toward better quality of life and longer life expectancy. The arts thrive, victims get voice, and virtual communication expands our communities.  Young people see beyond duty and take on the mantel of mission1. Somehow, our very vulnerability opens options for re-seeing, re-thinking, and re-living the world at all levels of experience. New identities and generative connections emerge today from personal reflection, through family and neighborhood supports, and across political and geographical boundaries.

Some look to religion for help navigating in these complex times. Others grab political, social, or cultural power. Some hide in identity, and others distract themselves with searching. In the world of HSD, we take guidance from patterns as they emerge from these confusing realities. This focus leads us to some interesting questions, including:

  • What is the legacy, the pattern, I want to leave for my children?
  • What connections—with people or nature—will help me feel whole and healthy?
  • Who am I, and who are we, that we can make a positive difference?
  • Who am I responsible for, and who feels responsible for me?

We are hosting a conversation about such questions on our Facebook page: Patterns with Death. People have shared their reflections in videos. Others post reflections of their own or writings of others. We invite you to join the conversation.

  1. Write three sentences that describe the pattern you want to leave as your legacy.
  2. Either upload the document or record a selfie video on your phone.
  3. Share it on the Patterns with Death page.

If you don’t already belong, you can visit the site and ask to join. I look forward to seeing you there.

1Thanks to John Murray for this insight into the motivations of young adults, and a good spark for future conversations!

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