How to Grow Old?

By Prajwal Haniya

You are not who you were yesterday. You are a day older today. As you grow old, there will be a lot of thoughts & fear. At least I have experienced this by watching people who are aged, like people who are at least 50 years older than me. I have noticed a few people who are happy when they are 60 or more & sad at the same age. Nothing matters when you are at that age. There is a significant difference between people who are happy & people who are sad & filled with fear.

Recently I got a masterpiece written by Bertrand Russel which is short and wonderful & must read if you are young:

Psychologically there are two dangers to be guarded against in old age. One of these is undue absorption in the past. It does not do to live in memories, in regrets for the good old days, or in sadness about friends who are dead. One’s thoughts must be directed to the future, and to things about which there is something to be done. This is not always easy; one’s own past is a gradually increasing weight. It is easy to think to oneself that one’s emotions used to be more vivid than they are, and one’s mind more keen. If this is true it should be forgotten, and if it is forgotten it will probably not be true. The other thing to be avoided is clinging to youth in the hope of sucking vigour from its vitality. When your children are grown up they want to live their own lives, and if you continue to be as interested in them as you were when they were young, you are likely to become a burden to them, unless they are unusually callous. I do not mean that one should be without interest in them, but one’s interest should be contemplative and, if possible, philanthropic, but not unduly emotional. Animals become indifferent to their young as soon as their young can look after themselves, but human beings, owing to the length of infancy, find this difficult.”

Find the complete essay here: source