Ever hear the expression “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it” ever? Aging allows us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes so that we don’t continue with them. This is knowledge that can then be passed down from generation to generation, eventually benefiting all of humanity in some cases. In others, it just means you learn not to touch a hot stove.
In many cultures, those with gray hair are often revered because of the wisdom that they can provide other. On a more basic level, aging provides people with choices that allow them to consume alcohol, smoke, or even vote in elections. As we each get older, there are certain rights and privileges we pick up along the way that younger population demographics just don’t get to enjoy.
Think that college degree is going to pay you a six figure salary right away? For most people, they’ll need to think again. Aging provides experience that can be turned into dollars and cents. If someone has run three successful tech start ups and is getting ready to start a fourth while someone else is fresh out of college with a degree and starting up their first idea, who is more likely to get 100% funded? The person with a track record for success.
Aging definitely comes with some specific stages. There’s our childhood. We’ve got the teen years. Then there’s the long stage of being a working adult. We might reach retirement. Then some folks wind up being in a place where others must care for them. In each stage of life, we have the opportunity to experience new things. Good or bad, it’s a dynamic part of the human experience.
As people get older, their health needs become more profound. Age extending medications may be required. Surgeries to correct a lifetime of potentially poor choices may be necessary. Parts of the body begin to wear out, requiring therapies, replacement, or adaptive technologies. Older folks might be able to make a lot more extra money, but they’ll need it to take care of their ailing bodies in the future.
Just about everyone has gone to the doctor for a new ache or pain and been told that it’s just a consequence of the aging process. When we were young, growing pains could sometimes be so bad that we’d never want to get out of bed. As we age, those same pains come back because of how we’ve used our bodies so that we never want to get out of bed once again.
Technology has radically evolved over the last two decades and looks to continue doing so into the future. Those changes required adaptation that the aging population doesn’t always embrace. Tomorrow’s innovations are going to do the same thing to us as email and social networking has done for this generation of the senior population.
As much as we all might like to be immortal, it just isn’t going to happen with current technology. Average life spans have crossed the 80 year mark in a number of countries and is continuing to grow. We’re living longer than ever before, but the one simple fact remains: if we’re alive today, the aging process is happening right now and one day we are going to wind up dying.
V. Watch the movie segment and talk about the questions.
1. Where are this group of elderly?
2. Which of the tips of Ex IV are they following?
3. Do you think this kind of activity is positive for them?
4. Do you think you would like it if you were older?
5. What are your feelings about aging? Are you scared of it? What do you do to postpone your aging process?