Old age is the most unexpected of all the things that can happen to us.
– Leon Trotsky
When the very first gray hair appears on our head, it is an uncertain juncture in our lives.
We go to the mirror with a sinking feeling and try to pluck out the evidence – one here, two there. But the more we pull out, the more seem to come in. The purpose of this blog is not to say, “Prevent the inescapable.” That is impossible. It is to encourage living in such a way that we may achieve agelessness in body, mind and spirit, as a three-part process. I tease my friends by asking which of them would like to relive their teen years. That question often brings a groan.
Youth has much to offer; and so does the experience of age.
In India there is a joke about a man going to a barber and asking, “Do you have anything for gray hair?” “Yes,” the barber says, “Respect.” Just because we don’t have wrinkles or a gray hair, we may not be alive in the fullest sense of the word. Does it necessarily mean we are young or ageless?
This is the paradox of life: No matter how we cling to youth through our body, sooner or later it begins to let go of us.
But, if we do not cling to the body – and its beauty – there might be a different result. We see this in the lives of many great saints and mystics. We see it in the neighbor next door, and we see it in some of the famous and the not-so famous.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
– Eleanor Roosevelt