Should you stay or move in place?
In our modern world, people move a lot. They ignore connectedness to others so long as for economic gain or one is in good health.
For example, in the Philippines, we have millions of OFWs (overseas Filipino workers). They voluntarily leave home and live far away from family in order to improve circumstances financially.
OFWs eventually feel themselves experiencing physical “exile” from blood relations living back home. Many of them recognize their pain of being a “displaced people.”
Therapist and author Wendy Lustbader writes,
“If we conducted the middle of our lives with an eye to the end of our lives, we should choose a place to live and we would stay. Residing near others with whom we establish a history of reciprocity is the best hope for old age or disability, whether we manage to live near blood relations or choose to develop family-like bonds with others.”
When I was a single person, I used to live in a condominium building for several years. It’s nice there with comfortable, luxury amenities. But, its at the sacrifice of my long term mental health and my need for attachment.
I eventually left my condo, immediately after I got remarried. My new wife and I chose to transfer to live near our adult children and in community surrounded by lots of neighbors. I discovered that I liked it there more than the comfort of the condo where I was alone before.
With easy access to our children and neighbors, I felt happier. I chose to stay in the place onwards. Here I can be more fully involved in neighboring instead of moving. There’s no point anymore in going any place else. Here I meet people each day up close and we can know each other.
I’m thinking, someday I may no longer be able to mount the steps of a bus/jeep or take long walks as I age. Physical frailty or illness can happen to me anytime.
It leaves me no doubt then that residing near others – my loved ones and neighbors – is the best hope for interdependence and purpose to me for the remaining years of my life.
Where we live and stay put determines the nature of the life that we live. Know why and where to choose to stay in place.