Getting older is about loss. The loss of our health, skills, looks, partners. Getting old is scary. Getting old is a terrible thing. We all want to avoid getting old.
And yet, what if it is not? Yes, it is true there is loss. We cannot do what we could when we were twenty. But there is gain. We have gained wisdom and, often, contentment. We have gained peace. We have gained a true sense of who we are and what we can do. We are no longer living in fantasyland.
With every loss there is gain. (Probably the reverse is true as well.) We do not have a great deal of control over the losses in our lives. Our physical skills will diminish. People will die. But be aware of all that we gain. Wisdom is no small gift. Being content is incredibly special.
So, the question is: can we gain the wisdom without experiencing the losses? Unfortunately, probably not. I think we need to go through the pain in order to gain the understanding.
The next time you see an older person, don’t be scared of how they represent your future. Instead, learn from them. Embrace what they represent and all that they can give you! And don’t forget to enjoy the journey!