Aging : Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional
Today, I stumbled upon a captivating image on Facebook: three beautiful old ladies, their younger selves seamlessly merged together in a poignant juxtaposition. It's a powerful reminder that no one can elude the grasp of time. Regardless of how radiant and youthful one may appear, with the passage of time, every face eventually becomes a canvas adorned with wrinkles, sagging skin, and silver strands.
In Korea, there exists a profound saying: "There is no great man that can win over time." In English, it echoes the sentiment of the age-old adage, "Time and tide wait for no man."
Intrigued by the concept of aging and the wisdom it brings, I embarked on a journey to discover what notable figures from history and literature have shared about this inevitable part of the human experience.
Now, let's delve into some quotes about aging:
"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."
- Mark Twain
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." - C.S. Lewis
"Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength." - Betty Friedan
"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many."
This is so true. With sickness or illnesses, or accident... and even now, because of war... many lives become lost in vain. So, yes being able to get old is indeed a privilege I guess.
"To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful, reverent—that is to triumph over old age." - Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Among the many quotes I came across, the one that resonated with me the most was this:
"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional." - Chili Davis
Age alone does not bestow true wisdom. Sometimes, we witness individuals becoming more self-centered and childlike as they grow older. In youth, such behavior might be viewed as 'cute' or 'childlike,' but in old age, it can be seen as a regrettable state that causes not only personal pain but also affects those around us.
I can speak from personal experience; had I not been fortunate enough to discover this meditation practice, I might have inclined towards becoming a sullen, judgmental individual.
I might not even have realized the extent of my transformation, trapped within my own world of thoughts.
The ability to step outside and observe the mind objectively has been a lifeline for me, helping me release my self-centered attachments and thoughts.
When the mind finds space, clarity reigns, and you can navigate life's currents. This is where I resonate with the idea that 'growing up' is optional. True change doesn't come from external pressures; it arises from an inner desire and willingness to let go. With time and effort invested in the mind's transformation, genuine growth becomes possible.
During my time in Western Australia, I had the privilege of meeting a man in his 70s who was actively engaged in meditation at Perth Meditation. He had just completed level 2 at the time, and I was deeply moved by his testimonial. I thought it would be fitting to conclude this blog with his insights.
In his words, he shared his journey of aging, emphasizing that old age often involves dealing with loss, be it in terms of physical appearance, financial circumstances, or material possessions. I hope you find his perspective as enlightening as I did.
Age is indeed a journey, and as we traverse its path, we possess the opportunity to redefine and celebrate the art of graceful aging.