Older and Wiser or is it No Fool Like an Old Fool?

“Tom, before we answer the title question lets consider Courage and Wisdom.

“Fine by me, Dave.”

“Courage is the most important virtue because without it, no other virtue could be practiced consistently!”

“Dave, we need courage all our life but even more so in old age.”

“Yes Tom, we need it to face the trials of old age: Facing our mortality plus aches and pains and illness.”

“We also need the moral strength to stand up for our convictions and inner strength to stand up to uncontrollable situations.”

“Dave, are you courageous?”

“Well Tom, I try to do what needs to be done in different situations, if that’s courage, then Yes I Am.”

“Good answer, Dave, you rise to the challenge.”

“We need courage to conquer fear. Courage is strengthened over a lifetime of handling difficult situations.”

“Dave, I’ve just had a pithy thought…When we shape our lives by our choices, we shape ourselves!”

“And also Tom, the choices we make are our own responsibility.”

We both powered that statement.

“Now about Wisdom, we need it to survive.

If we thought we knew all there was to know, we wouldn’t be open to learning new things.”

“What constitutes wisdom, Dave?”

“Wisdom involves the ability to make good decisions in uncertain situations.”

“Dave, I wonder if old people, like ourselves, have an advantage in wisdom.”

“Maybe Tom, because of their years of experience they can:

See events from multiple perspectives.

Use compromise to find solutions.

Deal well with uncertainty.

Recognise that changes are part of life.

Resolve conflicts.”

“Do you pay attention to life’s lessons, Dave?”

“I try Tom. One thing I’ve learned is NOT to expect too much from life and to do things that make me feel good, like helping others.”

“Oh Dave, you’re so WISE.”

“Well Tom, life is too short not to do things that feel good.”

“Now, about the title of this blog’s question:

Older and Wiser or is it No Fool Like an Old Fool?”

Ponder! Ponder!

I’d say it’s 50/50!!!

What say you?”

The Golden (character and virtue) Years

Questions that haunt your old age:

Am I still the person I have spent a lifetime becoming?

How do I grow older and remain myself?

“Hey Tom, do you realise in old age there is still a “ME” that continues changing and growing?

“Well Dave, I certainly hope I’m still “ME.”

“You are Tom, BUT what is this ME?

I’ll answer my own question.

Well at it’s core is CHARACTER, a stable and developing part of you.

Your ME grows over the years as your circumstances change. ME’NESS is the AGELESS SELF.”

“Well Dave, I try to keep my mind busy and ticking over by staying abreast of current events.”

“Same here, Tom. We try to balance our older identity by defining ourselves differently–for example, You are still You, just a different version that gets winded on the stairs.

Old Age causes changes BUT there still is a core identity underlying those changes.”

“I know one thing, Dave, I have a LONG past to look back on. But I wonder about the future.”

“We wonder about our health and how long we will be able to be independent.

But in our old age we must make peace with our lives.”

“Hey Tom, do you know how to handle the thought all of us oldies have, namely, that the end is in sight?”

“You sure know how to SCARE a fellow, Dave.

But I imagine you live for the moment.”

“One thing I know is that I’ve had a lot more years to make mistakes and a lot more chances to learn from them.”

“I have many fears in old age.”

“Well Tom, lets look at Character Strengths and Virtues that might help stop those fears so we can enjoy the present much more.”

We both pondered our discussion so far.

“Tom, do you know what we are referring to when we talk about Character?”

“Are we referring to strengths that will help us cope with old age and help us to feel like we are living meaningful lives?”

“Right on, Tom, you’re getting with the program now.

Some people think survival is a matter of LUCK.

But really it is a matter of cultivating qualities that help us survive.”

“One thing we oldies have learnt through our lifetimes is that we don’t control much in life.”

Tom looked quizzical.

“But, the one thing you can Control is YOURSELF.

How you use your strengths wisely.”

“Dave, how do character strengths and virtues come about?”

“Well, my friend, they grow out of life crises and how they sustained us through them.”

“I get it, Dave, through old age and adversity we learn our limitations and our strengths.”

“Right, you are, Tom.Our virtues and strengths are:

Transcendence, Humor, Humanity, Courage, Wisdom, Temperance, Pass wisdom to the young and appreciating the cycle of life, including the END.”

“That’s quite a list!”

“We will discuss these in future blogs.

I know you will look forward to these posts.”


“Remember, Tom, we oldies are survivors of life.”


“I will leave you with this profundity:

Somebody once asked me what time of life did I like best, I said,