I’m not retired; I’m just not currently working for money.

All the definitions of “retired” and “retirement” are something like

2 : withdrawn from one’s position or occupation : having concluded one’s working or professional career

I have retired from the employ of the State of Texas.  I am very pleased that my work there has earned me enough, including a pension and health care coverage, that I can get along without paid employment.  But I have not withdrawn from my occupation (if only I could figure out exactly what it is) and I certainly haven’t concluded my working career.

I have been contemplating exactly what one’s obligation is in the way of contributions to the world.  There is the Buddhist “live simply so that others may simply live” and the very American ethic that new, more, bigger, is everything and we all need to work to improve things as much as physically possible (or more).  I am on the simple end of the spectrum, but every once in a while I have a fleeting moment of panic.  What if everyone thought that way – wouldn’t we all still be living in caves?  Of course, if we all felt that way, we would be perfectly happy living in caves, enjoying our roots, berries, the occasional rabbit, and the moon coming up in the evenings.

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