Why do we see less of those white hair, wrinkles and most of all an ease in attitude these days? Have people stopped ageing? Or are they ashamed and scared to age! If the thought of “Nothing is more ageing than the battle to keep young” by Robert Eddison resonates with you, a victory against this battle must be achieved. So, let’s begin by pitching reality against assumptions, courage against fear and our will against the society’s drill to make us age mentally but not physically. The case in point is our nation. Look around, and you will find cooking, walking, spirituality and Satsang is all that we expect our elderly to engage in…The commercial market for elderly needs is pretty much in a nascent stage too. The most common products being either an anti-ageing one or medicines!
Examine the infrastructure, which has nothing to offer to this registered category of senior citizens. With nuclear families in the cities, many youngsters would not be able to even have a conversation for more than 2 min with an older person. In those 2 min also, we end up asking them about their health ONLY. The most bewildering of all is that there is a retirement age, it’s like a shelf life sticker that we have conveniently pasted/ got on the human head! Remember honey, remember wine (for the modern ones), they just get better with age. But still, you will spot an expiry label on Honey only because there is a guideline according to which all food products must have one. No wonder, we aren’t ageing!
The question here is then, for how long can we be young? Well before I have your mind spin with answers like, age is just a number, forever young and so on…let me just share with you the words of Sheridan Hay, “Ageing is the process of exchanging hope for insight”.
For a country which apparently has the youngest population in the world at ~356 million between the age of 10-24-year old. Sooner than later, we may be a country with the oldest population. For those good in mathematics, the “may” may not be making sense. But picture this, we have an anti-ageing population (non-accepting of their real age). This is topped by a super artificial and toxic environment (food, air, water, etc.). Adding a certain lifestyle preference (easy, fast and unhealthy). Lastly, a dash of a relative digital mind (less IQ, lesser EQ, etc.). Combined together or singularly, may not help these youth really reach the age of the aged! After all, a fun quote states that “you got to have a twinkle to reach your wrinkle”!
Also, ageing is supposedly divided into five stages of self-sufficiency, inter-dependence, dependency, crisis management and end of life. It is definitely not necessary that everyone experiences each stage but definitely the first and last stages are inevitable. So, in the words of Ingrid Bergman “getting old is like climbing a mountain; you get a little out of breath, but the view is much better! Let’s share a glimpse of this wrinkled and extremely beautiful view. One, we will experience less stress after 65years. Learning can save our brain. Our sleeping habits alter over time, we start getting up early without efforts. We mostly have control over ageing. This simply means that only 30% of the aging characteristics are controlled by our genes. The remaining 70% are all a result of our lifestyle factors. Creativity does not diminish with age and surely success has got nothing to do with it either. In fact, I just learnt about, Grandma Moses who received her last commission as an artist at the age of 99 and Jeanne L Calment who lived for 122 years and 164 years. This was so amazing. The reason, I’ve shared their stories is so that I can somewhat convince you to believe in Clint Eastwood’s words “Ageing can be fun if you lay back and enjoy it”.