Friday, 9 October 2015

The Virtues of Aging

   I have become obsessed with all things "Jimmy Carter".
   When Carter was 70, he was interviewed by Barbara Walters.  She asked him what were his best years.  He answered ,"Now is the best time of all". She asked, "Why?"   He wasn't happy with the quick answer that he gave her, so he wrote this book to answer this question. Why are his senior years the best years?
   When Carter talks about the 'virtues' of aging, he is talking about two things: having opportunities for more gratifying personal experiences, and being able to do things for other people.  So he is using the word 'virtues' to mean 'benefits'.   I am fascinated with this man.  He is known for promoting peace, but his family background was rather volatile.  Both his grandfather and great grandfather were killed in violent arguments.

   When talking about his bond with his wife, he says, "There is no doubt that we now cherish each day more than when we were younger.  Our primary purpose in our golden years is not just to stay alive as long as we can, but to savour every opportunity for pleasure, excitement, adventure and fulfillment."
"Go out on a limb.  That's where the fruit is".
Carter points out that, in retirement, we can choose to live a passive and inactive life.  But there is a riskier alternative- we can take advantage of our freedom and embark on new and exciting adventures.

Very American content but thoughts that are good for everyone:
"We worry too much about something to live on-
and too little about something to live for."
"Finding a way to live the simple life
 is today's most complicated problem."

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