Grow As You Go

Is not wisdom found among the aged?
Does not long life bring understanding?
                             —Job 12:12

“As you grow, you learn more,” said Morrie Schwartz, in Tuesdays with Morrie. “If you stayed at twenty-two, you’d always be as ignorant as you were at twenty-two. Aging is not just decay, you know. It’s growth.”

Laura Carstensen, Stanford University’s top aging expert, slams the social norm that tells older people to go away quietly into the night. She believes older people should be saying, “I’m not done yet. I’ve got stuff to do, and I’m going to make a difference.”

We can’t decide what to call the older set: elderly, senior citizens, geriatrics? Whatever moniker we choose will offend someone. Laura has a suggestion: “I like the term ‘perennials’—we’re still here, blossoming again and again.”

The trick is not to be as dumb at eighty-two as we were at twenty-two.

Wisdom doesn’t always come with age;
age sometimes comes alone.

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