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Discussion 1 to Meditation 724
Half a lifetime "spent," not "lost"

by: M. M.

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Dear Mr. Tyrrell:

In Meditation 724: The messenger system is still broken, when you write that "it is unfortunate - half a lifetime lost living in a tent in a Toronto ravine," you paint a picture of desolation and destitution, a soul banished to languish unproductively and forevermore in the wilderness.  Furthermore, your use of the word "unfortunate" implies that Pauline Davis is simply a hapless victim of misfortune, and not a volitional, choosing and acting human being.  This is not accurate, for several reasons.

First, why half a lifetime "lost" and not a half a lifetime "spent," for example?  Second, it's not as though she spends all her time there.  Pauline works for, earns and spends money, she has friends and family, she travels, partakes of Toronto's movie/entertainment/restaurant scene from time to time and, despite her spartan living arrangements and unfamiliarity with computers, has managed to create a website and a YouTube channel.  She is a living example of the charitable spirit, having helped many people down on their luck when they needed help, although you'll never read about her contributions in any newspaper.  She is kind, generous, honest, peaceful, and persevering.  She considers her time spent, not as "lost," but rather as activism and a mission of protest against what she perceives as political and religious deception and injustice.  Surely, many people have spent their time on earth accomplishing far less admirable things. Don't her accomplishments, whatever you may think of them, deserve more acknowledgment that to be dismissed as "half a lifetime lost?"

In conclusion, let me dispel any deprecatory impression this letter may have aroused by complimenting what you have accomplished.  I find your meditations witty, scholarly and well written, and find myself in agreement with a large percentage of what you say.  Please keep up the good work.

M.M.

Toronto