May 19, 2015 admin


by Joe Tarabino

Age 76. Trinidad, CO

Growing up rural is a distinct advantage over other situations. When you have chores to do, from an early age you know you are part of a group; you are necessary. Many children never realize, in spite of how much love or benefits given, that they are actually necessary within their family. Chores gave us a sense of responsibility; their completion provided a sense of freedom.

Any day, when the work was done, my brother and I could wander miles from home with an old .22, lay on the riverbank or even skinny dip so long as we were home on time for dinner. If not, we had not behaved responsibility and the family let us know that we had kept them waiting and that was not acceptable.

It is necessary to realize that at some specific time you will no longer be present to continue or revise the story you have lived.

My early natural life was enhanced by my Jesuit education; both are among my most prized gifts. Both provided an acceptance of the natural flow of life [and death, which is merely its completion]. Living is an art which is incomplete until its full consequences have been objectified. It is necessary to realize that at some specific time you will no longer be present to continue or revise the story you have lived regardless of your priorities.

Early on nature provided us with a sense of proportion, a Trinitarian acceptance of the value of knowledge and the willingness to harmonize with it: knowing the unity of the true and good. The beautiful. We were humbled simply by existing, hopefully gracefully, within it. Were it necessary to choose to believe in the sum of my life and that which is greater than it, I would choose the value of that ‘otherwise’ as being more logical than my own existence.

I could never be a humanist because I accept that my perceptions are insignificant within a greater presence. My logic is insufficient to explain itself much less anything I do. There is too much, other than me, to discover; even if sometimes the only way that can be accomplished is ex nihilo. We were taught the basic virtues [prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude] and, when respected; they have proven to be enough. No more specific rules or laws are necessary. Life is complex, but living is simple.

Life is complex, but living is simple.

A specific answer to your question would be: the purpose of life is, having lived well, to die gracefully.

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