ZEN+ : Simple, Direct, Effective : ZEN+ Benefits

Debunking the myths of old age…

By Marcus Santer

The Saturday Quote:

“Agism is the notion that people become inferior
because they have lived a specific number of years.”
Maggie Kuhn Founder of the Gray Panthers

One of the books I’m currently reading is: Maggie Kuhn On Aging

She was a fascinating woman.

The founder of the Gray Panther movement and dedicated to challenging age related prejudice.

Here are some of the myths of old age she debunked:

That it’s a disaster: Old age is not some loathsome disease. It represents strength and survivorship. It’s a triumph over all kinds of uncertainties, disappointments, trials and illness.

That your mind goes soft: The truth is there is no limit to learning.

That you become useless: While we may live in a turbo charged technological age, elders have all kinds of useful skills, knowledge and experience to share.

That old age is sexless: Sex need not wither… ‘it ought to be flourishing right up to rigour mortis‘.

In one interview I watched with Maggie, she was asked what the three things were she liked about getting old, here was her reply:

  1. First you can speak your mind… but you have to do your homework first; otherwise you’ll quickly be dismissed as a doddering old fool.
  2. Second I have successfully outlived a great deal of my opposition; many of the people who were my detractors are not around anymore!
  3. The third thing I especially liked about getting old is that it’s really kind of a miracle to be able to tap into the incredible energy of the young, while making use of the knowledge and experience that comes after living a long, full life.

Yes, as counter intuitive as it may seem, the truth is there are so many benefits to ageing:

Your interpersonal skills…

…Relationships…

…Expertise and knowledge develop and improve.

And a 2014 study by the Wall Street Journal suggests 65+ year olds report ‘thriving’ more than any other age group in the following areas:

And the good news is there are proven, evidence based steps, you can take to improve your experience of ageing too.

Successful ageing is my favourite subject and I’ve covered it in great detail in my book: The Healthy Ageing Pyramid (HAP) – The 7 health packed habits proven to help you stay young your whole life.

But unfortunately you can’t help denying that in our youth addicted society, growing older isn’t embraced and celebrated.

Ugh, ugh.

It’s treated like something to be fought against and avoided.

Except you can’t avoid it.

I mean what’s the alternative?

Exactly.

So as you age, you must be on your guard against the myths of ageing popularised by mainstream media and companies selling youth in a bottle.

Because you’ve been lied to about what it means to age.

If you want to find out more, I cover this subject in depth in Habit #1 of the HAP: Develop a prevention mindset. It’s the foundation upon which you can build a healthier, stronger and more independent life.

Full details here.

Bye for now

Marcus