Advancing years—years of improvement

Dashing up the stairway. Walking briskly along the shore. Putting away the groceries. Firmly shaking someone's hand. These are pretty routine actions, but they express life and vigor, and they're actions we control. But what about a decline or loss of physical activity? Weakness and disability are often attributed to aging and are thought to be beyond our control. Our bodies can act against our will, can't they?

This question may represent a common view about the quality of life that comes with advancing years, but it doesn't represent the view of many good thinkers today, or of many thinkers throughout history. Some recent best-selling books on aging and health indicate a growing awareness that decline and disease are not built into advancing years, any more than vitality and promise belong exclusively to the young.

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Testimony of Healing
One evening on my way home from work, on a busy highway...
April 24, 1995
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