People take different paths in life. They develop different values. Provided that those values do not include intentionally limiting the potentials inherent in other people, or worse, intentionally ending the lives of other people, I can find a way of engaging with most folks. But we’re different from each other. We don’t have to be the same, nor would it actually please us if we were all very much alike.
Cases in point:
I’ve known people that have found answers for themselves in religious beliefs that I do not share. That’s okay with me. There are other things we can still enjoy together. Well, you’d think so. I do still enjoy the company of people who hold their own religious beliefs and have no expectation that I will share those beliefs. I get along with them just fine. One is even a church minister. But I found that I could not bear other friends who felt that because they felt ‘saved,’ then I too must be ‘saved’ and they used otherwise agreeable circumstances to try to influence me or even foist their strongly held beliefs upon me. It didn’t seem truly friendly to me. It was tiring at best, insulting at worst.
I must admit that when a well-meaning person tells me that I “must” do anything, read a book, see a movie, visit a place, etc., it puts my back up. I get the idea of strongly recommending something. I also understand that the “must” is figuratively intended, not meant literally. Still, it sets me on edge, and I find myself waiting for the next noisy shoe to fall.
I’ve heard of people who strongly believe in having a ‘bucket list.’ I do not count myself among them. There are, of course lots and lots of things that I would like to do, places I’d like to go, things I’d like to see and do – and I see them, do them and go to them. But I do it on the basis of the convergence of opportunity, ability, resources, interest, etc., not because I once put it on a list and stroking it off my list represents success! What if I had a long bucket list, got part way through it and developed some inability to continue? Why set yourself up for failure and dismay? My view is that I like to enjoy life as it comes to me in the way I can enjoy it. Sometimes I make things happen. I found a new girlfriend when I was 63 years old. Together, we went on a river cruise down the Saône and Rhône Rivers in France, saw both Paris and Barcelona. I started a blog to share my writing with others. We hope to visit Venice. My not having a bucket list leaves me free to partake in that which I can still do and to enjoy the simple things in life with equal intensity.
If I feel I’ve made a mistake, taken the wrong path, need to make changes, I can adjust. But I’ll do it at my pace, due to my own beliefs, at a time and in a place of my choosing. I think that’s a good life, and I doubt that I’ll be disappointed with it due to lacking a list.