By Marc Cooper, author of THE ELDER
One aspect of becoming an Elder is developing equanimity. Prior to becoming an Elder, your worldview focuses on hoping to get what you want and fearing the loss of what you have. The drive to get what you want and not lose what you have manifests itself either as gain or loss, fame or disgrace, praise or blame. As long as you’re caught in one of these extremes, the potential for the other is always lurking. Like a dog chasing its tail, the extremes chase each other around and around.
An Elder realizes that being obsessed with what you want—whether it is gain, fame or praise—pushes you into a cycle where you can never have life work out. You can never eliminate everything you fear. And you can never get to keep all the goodies.
An Elder brings equanimity to his or her worldview. That is why an Elder is at peace. That is a part of the wisdom of an Elder. An Elder realizes equanimity brings levelheadedness, composure and calm. Things are neither good or bad, neither right nor wrong. A worldview of equanimity alters not only how you see what’s happening, but also how others see those same issues and problems. That’s why Eldering is so critical to our world today.
In the book THE ELDER (go to Amazon.com) Samuel is consumed with the fear of losing what he has: his health, his ability to generate income, his business, his ability to have relationships. And when he meets an Elder who is grounded in equanimity, he begins to see how this worldview adds greatly to satisfaction and well-being. Samuel begins to see that how he relates to his situation doesn't allow him peace of mind or power.