Recently returned from a short break. Here as promised in the last post, is an update on my efforts to describe what it means to “live life to the full’ in the context of life lived out in the favelas.
My mother was fond of the proverbs ‘fools rush in where angels fear to tread’ and despite her best efforts I am not the angel that fears to tread and it is only after I have done the rushing that I realise once again I am the ‘fool’.
The latest example being the suggestion that I would develop a criteria for the “the fullness of life ” and cringingly worse the further suggestion that I might then use this criteria to judge the extent to which ‘the fullness of life’ might be achieved by those living in the favelas.
I began by trying to understand what is meant by ‘fullness’ and wondered if it would become more clear if I substituted the word ‘fullness’ with ‘meaningfulness’ or maybe thought of it in terms of what a ‘a good life’ might look like.
This got me no nearer, so I began listing the kinds of things that might characterise the life of someone who I would describe as having ‘life in all its fullness’.
I soon became aware that I was framing it within the morality of Christian dogma and therefore there would be the element of self-sacrifice, joy and sadness. All of which are shared by world faiths and humanists, all of which I believe are essential to describing ‘ a life lived to the full’.
But there is another which I think makes the difference and which is essential to the ‘fullness’ and that is the taking up of a personally challenging situation.
But more of this when I have thought about it a little more,and in particular how this relates to the lives of those in the favelas.
What would you describe as ‘a full life’ ?