Everyone fears ageing. Now that life expectancy in the developed world is securely more than three score and ten, fear of imminent death has receded and been replaced by a dread of getting old. While the definition of "old" depends on the age a person has reached - during their 20s people worry about turning 30; during their 30s people worry about turning 40; in their 50s people fear turning 60 and becoming an old-age pensioner. People all share a horror of becoming one of those forgetful, incapacitated, ludicrous figures which parents, aunts and uncles, once so young and vigorous, may have become. What is more, people often let their fear of ageing spoil their present life. Dorothy Rowe has spoken to people aged from five to 95 about how they view ageing, time and death. She has listened to people from societies where the old are revered and respected, as well as people from societies like those in the West - where they are not. She questions the contemptuous attitude to older people - which can often, for example, render invisible intelligent women over 60 - and explores the notion that this very contemptuousness creates the fear of ageing. Rowe looks at ways in which people can change this by altering the view of ageing and the passage of time. Finally, she offers a distillation of wisdom which provides support and hope, and points the reader towards a positive welcoming of the future.
Time on Our Side: Growing in Wisdom, Not Growing Old
ISBN 13: 9780006380849
Author: Dorothy Rowe
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