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What It Means to Be ‘Old’

By Dick Williamson

To many of us, “old” is not a good word. People dread the idea of getting old, of wrinkles and sags, of poor eyesight and failing hearing, of faltering steps, and of shaky handwriting. That is all “old” means to a lot of younger folks.

But they are mistaken. Theirs is a very shallow perception of what makes up an older person. They see the wrinkles, but they know little of the battles and skirmishes that caused them. They have little understanding of the lessons learned and the value systems formed in the heat of those battles—only some of which were won. 

They see poor eyesight and failing hearing as signs of a body wearing out, yet they have little comprehension of the millions of images and sounds that have contributed to the senior’s vast data bank of knowledge—knowledge that serves to guide one’s way through the minefields of life and offers wisdom to avoid life’s many pitfalls and the consequences of poor decision-making.

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