Am I Right?

How to live ethically

On Aging

The old can teach the young the value of life

Time has its way with everything. All things fall apart. Even galaxies are reduced to dust. Illness, accident and wear take their toll in the steady abrasion that spares none. While modern advances may reduce some of the ravages of time, still we grow old. The challenge of being elderly is to avoid growing bitter or angry.

As children we learn, as adults we are productive, and in old age there is wisdom to be imparted to the young. The burden that today's elderly face is a world changing so rapidly that what was once useful often is no longer so. It is easy for aged people to be seen as irrelevant and therefore objects of scorn, reluctantly accepted and viewed as a burden. However, the proper role of the elderly is to show the way to what is important, to point to a life of value.

There is wisdom to be gleaned from old people who have lived wisely, there is courage to be gained from those who face their own mortality courageously, there is joy to be learned from those who never cease learning and find joy in existence.

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From: Spelling God with Two O's

Arthur Dobrin, D.S.W., teaches applied ethics at Hofstra University. He is the author, coauthor, and editor of more than twenty books.

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