Sunday, June 19, 2016

Growing old

Based on: Tuesdays with Morrie -  a novel by Mitch Albom

Growing old need not be an uncomfortable feeling. Ageing is like an irresistible force that will take place whether we want it or not. Morrie says that resisting ageing is what creates uncomfortable feelings and unhappiness. He feels that those who resist ageing are mainly those who have unsatisfying or unfulfilling lives. Those who have found a meaning for their lives will generally be grateful for the experiences of the past and will not be unhappy to move onward to whatever the future holds for them. 

Envy for the young and the healthy is something that older folks will always experience from time to time but it is possible to feel it and let it go by replacing that feeling with the awareness that ageing is also a form of growth and maturation. Morrie finds comfort in imagining ageing as a process that takes one onward from infancy to childhood to adulthood and old age. The young and the old, at any point in time, are simply at different points in this spectrum of time.  Those who are old have already traversed a greater part of this spectrum and should feel a sense of accomplishment for having done so.

Our priorities often change in ways that we cannot imagine when we are faced with the reality of dying within a finite period of time. Morrie tells us that he feels the soft and gentle emotion of love connecting him very strongly to others, even strangers. He implies that love is a force that connects us all to one another, like beads on a string. His awareness of being connected to others is probably what has given him the ability to accept being dependent on others in his eight decade of life.

Morrie feels that we tend to ignore the reality of death when we are young and healthy and that this makes us unappreciative of the gifts which we receive in this world from Nature and from others. He feels that being aware of one’s mortality on a daily basis is the right thing to do for it gives us valuable insights into how we need to use our time on earth. 

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