Friday, February 20, 2009

Why I will never fear growing old

The most successful old people are the ones that shift their interests outside of themselves throughout life. People can get away with being self-consumed when they are younger, but nothing demonstrates the bankruptcy of this path better than age, as people inevitably give up their physical advantages.

There are few things more tragic to me than the cases where those physical assets have not been replaced by other qualities. These people are left with no other way to interface with life, and end up staring blankly at TV screens, complaining about their failing bodies to whatever poor souls they might otherwise enjoy reciprocal relationships with.

It's very important to choose in advance the kind of person we want to become, bearing in mind life's constraints, rather than denying the inevitable, acting surprised and embittered when it comes. This guy offers an alternative.

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I would add to this the observation that if we spend most of our lives trying to become people who are primarily useful to our employers, what will we have to offer each other when we are no longer employed? This is especially important to consider for those of us in industries that conflict on some level with our personal values.

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