Sunday, March 25, 2012

Joseph Epstein on Aging

Sometimes things get better with age. Sometimes they rot.

Sometimes age allows you to appreciate the finer things in life. Sometimes senescence makes it impossible to enjoy much of anything.

In a culture that worships youth aging feels like loss. You cease to be hip or cool or with-it. You lose your vitality, you lose your looks, you lose your memory, and you become much less adorable.

Somehow, people who worship all things natural feel compelled to war against the eminently natural process of aging.

In a culture that worships youth life becomes a depressing slog toward oblivion. You can fight it if you like but the laws of nature make it a losing fight.

If we are really serious about reducing the incidence of depression we should disembarrass ourselves of our lust after lost youth and  make an inventory of the good that comes from advancing age.

Those who are old enough to appreciate the finer things in life will delight in Joseph Epstein’s recent essay on his experience with old age. It's being published in Commentary. Epstein is a great and wonderful essayist, offering a mix of personal experience and thoughtful reflection, showing us the good, the bad, and the ugly about the aging process.

It’s well worth a read.

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