Proving ageism powerless

As I was browsing in a greeting card shop a few weeks ago, I came across a display of "over the hill" cards! While some of these cards are genuinely humorous, many play on the idea that every year we grow more feeble.

This view that we can look forward only to a declining life is widely believed, but that doesn't make it true. Some years ago, for example, I met a biologist who had made a study of the human aging process. Her research had convinced her that the description of the body as a machine with parts that eventually wear out was incorrect. Instead, at least some renewal and regeneration take place throughout our lives. I guess Methuselah knew something about this; he's the patriarch in the Bible reputed to have lived 969 years (see Gen. 5:27).

In my country, England—as well as some others—there has been a serious move to introduce laws that would prevent men and women from being discriminated against because of age, particularly in the workplace. Well-intentioned as this is, it seems improbable that a man-made law would radically change misconceptions about people of any age. The shift needs to come within one's own thinking.

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Realizing health
August 19, 1996

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