Growing old without regret
"Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been" ~ Mark Twain
Life is like a white picket fence.
A person's cycle of life is like putting up a picket fence. Requiring a lot of hard work measuring, digging, leveling, sawing, hammering, and painting; sweating profusely while laboring out in the sun until the fence is completed.
The fence starts out new and fresh.
But then the wooden fence begins to show the ravages of time, the elements of the weather and nature. It rains. It snows. The sun beats down during hot summer days. The paint starts to peel, chip and fall. Unable to remain straight it droops and slightly leans.
Some people passing by may have thoughts of disgust at the unsightly structure and wish that it be taken down for a new and better fence.
The same thing happens to people when they are old.
As we age we all become weathered.
Begin to droop and lean.
The physique that use to draw admiring complements now only draw quick glances. After all, there are more beautiful people to admire. Of course not everyone share this viewpoint, but the world today is so consumed by the media and commercialism; that what is new and young is consider better and beautiful. The old and aged are shunted aside.
We forget that some have live and survive tough times like the Great Depression, numerous world wars, social inequality and oppression against gender or race. There is a wealth of accumulated wisdom in the older generation. But age is quickly becoming something that is no longer valued by the throw away generation. The mentality of getting rid of the old for the new has made people more selfish. The belief of " Doing less and getting more " is growing.
How does one grow old gracefully and age without regret?
There is only one solution if old age is not to be an absurd parody of our former life,and that is to go on pursuing ends that give our existence meaning - Devotion to individuals, to groups or to causes,social, political, intellectual or creative work - One's life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love,friendship,indignation,compassion.. ~ Simone De Beauvoir, "The Coming of Age"
Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born. ~Dale E. Turner
What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us ~ Ralph W. Emerson