October 3, 2012

The Curious Mind and Retirement


When British statesman, Sir Robert Walpole, retired after many arduous years in public service, he went to the library in his home and took down a book, read for a few minutes, then returned it to the shelf.

He took down another, but only held it for a short time before replacing it and taking a third. After returning it to a shelf, he burst into tears and said, "I have led a life of business so long that I have lost my taste for reading, and now___what shall I do?”

I recently heard about an attorney who is long past retirement age, but he continues to work, because he “doesn't know what he would do with his time.”

Nancy and I are both over eighty, and most of our friends and associates are retired, but as far as we know, none is bored. Who can possibly be bored when there are so many books on so many subjects calling out to be read?  And who can be bored in this computer age when information on any subject is just a click away?

How unfortunate that someone should only experience a lifetime of work, when our Creator has surrounded us with an extravagance of natural gifts all waiting to be explored. The curious mind finds wonder in all God’s creation from the complexity of a single atom to the vastness of our universe . . . or is there more than one universe? I’ll Google that question.

Here’s an appropriate quote from Robert Louis Stevenson:
The world is so full of a number of things
I’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.