Last week’s post was about how we age; our choice to either hold on to youth’s veneer or let ourselves fall gracefully into old age through the way we live now. It was about embracing ageing through practicing wisdom, compassion and contribution before we are old so that we can use these capacities to continue contributing to our friends, family and society when we become old.
This week’s post addresses another big reason most of us don’t look forward to ageing: We don’t have enough examples of people who make ageing look graceful, invigorating and even cool.
Here are some of my examples of what it looks like to age well.
Sting makes ageing look cool. Born October 1951 he is already crossed the dreaded 60 which used to be the defining marker of old.
Sting is certainly not old and he is to me, a perfect example of a man ageing powerfully, and gracefully. Here’s is a video of him expressing his art along with a young ballet dancer.
Sir Richard Branson is a personal hero of mine. Born July 18, 1950 he is also by no means old and that’s largely because of his energy, love and passion for life. What’s more his sense of play makes him seem almost boyish. He’s known to love practical jokes and one time he arranged to have a friend’s apartment “robbed” as an April fool’s joke, only to have it bounce back on him as his friend realised his trick and had the police take Sir Richard in for questioning. All in good fun.
Born July 6th, 1935 the current Dalai Lama is the longest-lived holder of that title. He is by any definition old, and yet his being spells, joy, love, compassion, play and youth. On the surface the Dalai Lama has a lot to be angry about and yet he’s not. All who meet him speak of how authentically peaceful, compassionate and joyful he is.
Born October 1, 1924 Jimmy Carter has spent his entire life actively. After leaving the American Presidency he’s been more actively doing good in the world than before. Up until his recent cancer diagnosis, Jimmy Carter’s calendar was filled with the travel, meetings and speaking engagements of a person half his age. He may not be voted the best American President, but I think he’ll win best ex-President hands down.
Wishing you well President Carter and I hope you get to stay a few more years to help us solve our problems.
Wayne died last week. With his inquiring and insightful mind and a mellifluous baritone he brought messages of hope and inspiration to millions. All through his life and indeed in his “old age” Wayne actively contributed to making this world a more peaceful, happy and enlightened place. In the self-help world he was a rock star. Up until his illness made it impossible Wayne was out there interviewing, giving talks and writing.
We’ll miss you Wayne and thanks for sharing your wisdom.
Who are your paragons of ageing?
Who are yours? (You’ll have to sign up if you haven’t otherwise I get killed with spam comments). Also your examples don’t have to be famous.
One paragon of ageing in my life is my good old mother. Pearl-e continues to help and entertain wherever she can. She loves people, will listen to your story and tell you hers. She’s an example to me that you can contribute, have fun, be cherished as you get old.
Here she is smiling with Trinidad’s Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications Vasant Bharath and his lovely wife. Doesn’t Pearl-e’s smile look like she’s privy to some inside scoop?
May you age like a fine wine.