Is it too much to ask, What are we boomers doing with our lives? BoomerCafé contributor Carrier Slocomb has been asking that of himself, and has come up with a philosophy that helps him come up with not just the answer, but the right answer. It’s about doing decent, authentic things.
I recently ran across this sentiment in a book I was reading about wooden boat-building: “It’s an achievement to do decent, authentic things for a living.” It stopped me dead in my tracks. I wondered: is this a valid description of me or any other working boomer I know?
First things first though: who wouldn’t want to get paid turning planks, shaving hull-ribs, and finessing some difficult transom, especially with tools your great-grandfather might have used? But wooden boats aside, my own self-respect demanded that I understand this sentiment about doing “decent, authentic things for a living”–– parse it by definition, don’t you know.
Definition reveals that decent and authentic mean attired, dressed, trustworthy, genuine, and faithful. So who besides wooden boat-builders clad themselves faithfully for work? That is, who else do we know who works deeply inside their ideals, in a trade pure enough to benefit man, woman, child, and earth?
A stipulation is you have to make a living at it; otherwise, it’s considered a hobby or volunteerism. Who to tag, then? Underpaid teachers; spiritual leaders; amazing moms; medical people who tend the poor; public service personnel; forestry,oceanic and animal scientists focusing on our planet; interplanetary geniuses expanding us into space; grass roots politicians solving local issues; the list goes on.
And where do we go to do decent, authentic things? What’s the address? Maybe you’re already there and you know. Or maybe to you work is just a paycheck. My sense is that people who clad themselves in genuinely decent, authentic livelihoods have calmer personalities and sounder, more illuminated souls. They are very nearly complete. Some may be boat-builders. Others put strangers ahead of themselves.
Those of us outside the loop shouldn’t beat ourselves up -– we know what elevates us because we’ve said it a zillion times: “If only I…” This next question considers the late hour: are we boomers past the days of hooking our dream job?
Imagine working every day unaware of the clock, of fractious office politics, of a demeaning commute, or simply for mediocre health care? Imagine all the beautiful fruit you could farm on a place where there’s no rush to end the week, the quarter, or the year, and where retirement holds no allure. Think it’s possible? Man I hope so.
Follow Carrier online – click here.