15 Reflections On What It Means To Grow Old

15 Reflections On What It Means To Grow Old

Old age is what happens when we reach or surpass the life expectancy of human beings, and achieve the end of the human life cycle. For some, it is a blessing; for others, a curse depending on one’s state of health.

Modern western society has found difficulty in coming to terms with the concept of old age since it is youth which seems to be its central focus.

It has coined euphemisms and terms to describe the condition. Some countries still use the term “old people,” but in the U.S. and Great Britain, for example, they are referred to as “senior citizens.” Other terms such as “older adults,” “the elderly,” or even “the elders,” are sometimes used. Followers of political correctness probably refer to them as “age challenged.”

The biological fact is that old people often have limited regenerative abilities and are more prone to disease, syndromes, and sickness than younger adults. The organic process of aging is called senescence while the study of diseases that afflict the elderly is geriatrics.

However, the chronological age denoted as “old age” varies culturally and historically, so old age is more a social definition than a biological one.

On a social level, the elderly frequently face other issues such as retirement, loneliness, and ageism.

The quotes about what it means to grow old have been selected by our LifeDaily team to reflect both the serious, and not so serious approach to old age:

George Burns:

You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.

you don't have to get old

Mark Twain:

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.

Andrew Carnegie:

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.

Pope John XXIII:

Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.


Stanislaw Jerzy Lec:

Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.

Kurt Vonnegut:

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

Mark Twain:

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.


Victor Hugo:

Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age.

Helen Hayes:

Age is not important unless you’re a cheese.

Theodore Roosevelt:

Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.

Golda Meir:

Old age is like a plane flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do.

Golda Meir

Dr. Seuss:

Adults are obsolete children.

Ogden Nash:

Middle age is when you’re sitting at home on a Saturday night and the telephone rings and you hope it isn’t for you.

Maurice Chevalier:

You don’t stop laughing because you grow older. You grow older because you stop laughing.

Maurice Chevalier_smiling

John Adams:

Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.

The old adage that “you are as young as you feel” is a truism, but you can only know that when you are a “senior citizen.”

How do you feel about old age? Do you think that families should bear a greater share of the burden of caring for old people?

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