Age through the Eyes of the Wise

by Belinda Munoz on April 26, 2012

Age

Day four of Momalom’s 5 for 5 challenge. The topic is age.

I’d love to share something wise or profound on the topic of age, but I fear I haven’t lived long enough to qualify. How’s that for a stab at levity?

Age does not diminish
the extreme disappointment
of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone.

~Jim Fiebig

In all honesty, I fail to see age as anything other than just a number, and one I have little skill of guessing correctly. When I hear someone described as young, middle-aged or old, I’m never quite sure what to expect. Young does not necessarily mean youthful, vibrant or free. It can be a diplomatic way of calling someone inexperienced, immature or unprepared for whatever big thing is coming.

Youth is a wonderful thing.
What a crime to waste it on children.

~George Bernard Shaw

Middle-aged? To a teen, it may be someone in their twenties. She eats cereal at night. She forgets to charge her iPhone. She is figuring out how to get comfortable in all the new worlds she straddles. To a thirty-something? It’s someone twenty years older.

Middle age is having a choice between two temptations and
choosing the one that’ll get you home earlier.

~Dan Bennett

What about old? Is it ever appropriate to call someone old if they perceive themselves to be young? And by whose standards are we measuring age? In countries where the life expectancy is under 50, is there anyone to call old?

Wrinkles should merely indicate
where smiles have been.

~Mark Twain

The one-dimensionality of age as a label is a bit limiting to anyone who tosses coins in a fountain, watches for shooting stars at night, or goes to bed the same time his son does. Or his grandchild. Wouldn’t it be more fun to discover what other descriptions apply?

None are so old as those
who have outlived enthusiasm.

~Henry David Thoreau

My thoughts on age are in progress. So is my age. Yours, too, I hope.

There are years that ask questions
and years that answer.

~Zora Neale Hurston

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Stacia April 26, 2012 at 4:48 am

Love, love, love that first quote. And the last one is a zinger, too. Good stuff.

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2 Lindsey April 26, 2012 at 5:05 am

I totally agree with you about the sliding scale of middle age – how somehow when we are in it, the label applies to those much older. I wrote about this today, too. And that Zora Neale Hurston quote is one of my very favorites. I’m ready for a year or two of answers, after several of questions in a row. xox

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3 ayala April 26, 2012 at 5:18 am

Love this, Belinda. I have met 90 year old seniors with more energy than thirty year old people….age is just a number? maybe..except sometimes the mind tells us we can and the body betrays us 🙂

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4 alita April 26, 2012 at 6:05 am

My thoughts and age are always changing. I agree with you! Time is what we make of it and age is just a number.

Thank you for sharing!

Alita

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5 Kelly April 26, 2012 at 6:59 am

Those quotes are awesome. Your musings have given me much to think about!

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6 Justine April 26, 2012 at 7:09 am

Youth is wasted on children – indeed! If only they knew how precious it is, they wouldn’t spend most of their time trying to be older than they really are.

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7 TheKitchenWitch April 26, 2012 at 7:21 am

I totally agree about that first one–ice cream on the ground crushes you at any age! Loved it.

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8 Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri April 26, 2012 at 9:46 am

Love how you straddle these quotes in-between your perspective. Great take on the topic of age. Belinda, although I love your poetry, I’ve enjoyed these longer posts from you. xoxo

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9 BigLittleWolf April 26, 2012 at 3:28 pm

The real “age” dilemma in this country is what you mention at the end of your post – we use it to label, and use “old” as a derogatory term.

Personally, I love the Bennett quote, though I’m not sure if that describes middle-age, parenthood, or both… 🙂

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10 Cathy April 26, 2012 at 8:04 pm

You make some excellent points – age is merely a state of mind (in my “young” opinion).

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11 Sarah April 27, 2012 at 6:36 pm

I’m with Stacia on those two quotes. Loved them! And the rest were fantastic, too. Maybe the best thing to do when thinking of age is exactly this: turn to others. Cause what do any of us know about age? It’s so individual, so unique.

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12 Amanda April 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Yes, that last one.

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13 Jade @ Tasting Grace April 29, 2012 at 10:01 am

Oh that last quote is perfect. I love Zora Neale Hurston.

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