Column: Reflecting on reflections


Commentary by Lorene Burkhart

Playing with words has been a pastime for many years. Crossword puzzles, Scrabble and now Wordle, to name a few. Today, I’ve picked just one word to play with. I’m sure you will think of others.

The word is “reflections.” Its derivative, reflect, has two meanings: To remind oneself or to show an image. Reflection can mean an idea arising in the mind or a reflected image. Reflective can mean thoughtful or giving a reflection. No wonder learning the English language is such a challenge!

As we age, we become more reflective, often sharing stories of earlier years, then watching the youngsters roll their eyes. Sometimes, our reflections provide insight into earlier behaviors that weren’t thought about when they were happening, providing an “aha!” moment.

Our lives reflect our values, sometimes causing us to change direction when we get off course.

Reflect, reflection or reflective. Each has its own double meaning. Have some fun with this. Pick a time in your life to reflect about. It could be your college years, maybe your career path, or even time with parents or grandparents. Jot down some thoughts that pop into your head. Maybe you could pick some bad experiences and show how you have changed. Don’t hesitate to scold yourself for bad decisions but use your reflections to move on to better times. Ask yourself, “What did I learn from the experience?”

Research has shown that word games are good for our brains as we age. But they are fun anytime. So, locate your Scrabble board and challenge your grandchildren to a game. Well, maybe not. Pick an easier partner!