Some time back a picture of a rapper, Bow Wow, flashed across the screen and included a quote that said something like – “I may be young but I feel more like 50”. You often hear parents speaking of a young child as “7 going on 37”. With all due respect to Bow Wow and those parents – I DON’T THINK SO!!!
What they are saying is they think they have more mature interests and activities, and, perhaps, believe their thoughts are beyond their ages. The truth, however, age is more than physical; it is a state of mind. At age 50, 60, 70 one acquires wisdom about life that you can only gain by living it. It is the accumulation of experiences, both good and bad, that help us recognize that life is not a black or white event. It is those experiences that we draw upon when making decisions about our lives and the world around us. They are the things you never read in a text book but are indelibly etched in your mind.
Also, it is impossible to “know” at a younger age what living in an older body is like. One cannot experience by extension the aches and pains that come with aging. For the vast majority, the young don’t know what having to take pills on a regular schedule is like, or the pleasure of knowing you have your pill case in your pocket or purse.
But life isn’t totally grim at the upper reaches of age either. Someone 25 can’t possibly know the joy and pleasure that grandchildren can give. They can’t possibly know the quiet satisfaction of seeing children, grandchildren and perhaps great-grandchildren congregate and know that what is before you would not have existed without you.
At age 60, 70 and beyond, there is an implicit, often unspoken, understanding that you are closer to the finish line than the starting line of life – and that you are not invincible and immune to the laws of nature. Simply put, while you may think you are wise and knowledgeable beyond your years; when you are older you will realize you were not.