Vicki Robin, who wrote Your Money or Your Life with Joe Dominguez, provided the following commentary for “In the Prime,” a PBS series on midlife. I think it provides a little food for thought.
According to Hindu philosophy, Robin says, there are four phase of life with most of us doing the first two and then stopping. She includes the other two phases as a way to get older Americans to “flower.”
Phase 1: We are students, becoming educated, learning life skills.
Phase 2: We have a home, raise families, make a living, become part of the community. (For many Americans, she says, “personal evolution stops here. Then it’s off to the retirement home or the television.”)
Phase 3: Hindu retirement involves withdrawing from social obligations to spend time discovering who we are, what life means and trying to answer those pesky questions we never got around to solving.
Phase 4: We return to the world “without attachment,” according to Hindu philosophy. This is the time to take care of others without asking for anything in return.
Again, something to think about.
By Teresa K. Flatley