All the World's a Stage...

Written by Anthony Douglas on 13 October 2018.

Stage...and all the men and women merely players. Or so said Shakespeare in As You Like It, though he missed the opportunity to throw in another pun by referring to the seven ages of life as stages themselves. He was, however, recognising not just that we play roles in how we relate to one another, but that these roles inevitably change over time.

Sadly, he is too often right. Generation after generation, men and women appear content to simply walk through the different phases of their lives, with little thought given to whether there is a better path. The script is written, and we follow it slavishly.

But pause for a moment: how would things be different if we acknowledged that this world, this existence, is just that: a stage? And with the implication that it will pass through this stage into another?

The wise golfer doesn’t wear herself out over the first nine holes and keep nothing in reserve. The canny marathon runner doesn’t hit full pace until the finish line is in sight. The prudent investor bears in mind the return over the long term. If this world is a stage, it makes sense to live life in such a way that you’re set up for the world to come.

‘All the world’s a stage,’ said Jaques - and as a cynic, he went no further with his thought. He had the insight, but not the mettle to work past it. We all tread the boards of this world - and few of us are ever fully content with our role. Why not play this part as an audition for your next?

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