“If you continue to work and to absorb the beauty of the world around you, you will find that age does not necessarily mean getting old…. The man who works and is never bored is never old. Work and interest in worthwhile things are the best remedy for age…. —Pablo Casals
A few years ago I was teaching a leadership course in an Asian country to educators with administrative responsibilities.
At the end of our 3-day program two 20-something year-old participants approached me to ask if they could have their picture taken with me.
“We want to show this photo to our students to demonstrate to them that old people can still be useful,” they explained.
I had two immediate thoughts:
Followed quickly by: I thought this was a part of the world where older people were revered.
Here’s a question: What if you woke up one day to discover that you were old?
Being “old” is sort of like that. You are young and then you’re not. Middle-age seems to be something that occurred between college and this moment and of which you have only a vague recollection.
To some degree that feeling exists throughout life, but it certainly is more pronounced as the decades pile upon one another.
But years aren’t exact equivalents of age, as Pablo Casals reminds us,
So, if on occasion, you fear growing old, which is a common and understandable fear, I encourage you to find work in its broadest sense that interests you and engages both your mind and your heart and to do such work for a lifetime.