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,