An old man stands,
only holes for his pockets,
begging for more.
Mortal. It’s what we are. Even our super heroes with their super powers are mortal. All things get old and die. But we have somehow deluded ourselves into denying our mortality by thinking if we make the right plans, if we eat right and exercise our mortality will not be of an issue. But we are lying to ourselves.
Infants are unaware of their mortality.
The young ignore it.
Adults deny it.
Mature adults fight it.
Seniors can’t escape it.
In fact all our marketing and advertisements seem to promote products that help us deny, fight or escape our mortality by finding ways of promoting youth and not growing old. But these are lies.
Getting old doesn’t suck.
I use those words specifically because I hear a different version of them ALL the time. I’m really tired of hearing “Getting old sucks” from people complaining about their ailments or expressed as a sort of sympathy for my when I talk about my ailments. For example, I have arthritis which has caused complications with bursitis and also sciatica and I also have atrial fibrillation. These conditions come and go by degrees. And while I have these pains that have caused me to resort to using a cane to help get around and have limited my mobility I do not complain. I’m just happy to be alive. Pain reminds me of my mortality and the older I get the more aware I am of the end that is destined to come – an end that I will welcome but will not rush toward.
It seems at times that we have finally become such a youth-based culture that aging and all it’s related issues have become completely intolerable as if mortality was something to be cured of, or fixed. And medical science and technology have done nothing to diminish that idea. Yet for every disease that is cured a new one is discovered. It is inevitable and will continue to be so because we are mortal and there is NO CURE for mortality.
I once wrote the following 2 ideas (in previous blog posts):
1. We begin to die the moment we are born.
2. We spend our whole lives learning how to die.
We must come to terms with our mortality in loving acceptance. Failure to do so will only result in the unnecessary illness of self-delusion.
At times it seems that we are just one step away from the Euthanasia portrayed in the science-fiction film – LOGAN’S RUN (1976) where life must end at the age of 30. And maybe that is the only solution to our mortality. Blind delusion that leads us to an end that is sooner than what was destined.
Sure, I’m getting old and I am accruing illnesses that accompany my status and state of being. I can’t change it. I can’t turn back the clock. I accept that I have changed. In fact at times I look back to when I was in my 20’s and think, “who was that person?” and ruminate that I’m not sure I would like to meet that person if I bumped into them today. My values have changed. Getting old doesn’t suck – it’s just different. I can still experience good things – even if it means just sitting by my window enjoying a quiet moment watching the sun rise. I can still contribute to the world around me (whether others pay attention or not). Life is beauty and pain. We cannot escape pain and mortality. We should welcome it regardless of what may come – at any age.
Youth chases after and follows its bliss
The aged remain and rest in their bliss
and neither can tell you where it may be found
Youth is controlled by passion
The aged controls their passion
Youth rushes foolishly head-long to learn
what the aged already know, and have taken years to learn
The error of youth judges the aged
The error of the aged criticizes the youth
And neither respects the other
The aged were once youthful
As the youthful will one day be aged
Neither should be rushed.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE