The Wisdom Years – Old Age

Old Age – The Wisdom Years
If you can make it long in life, you accumulate a wealth of experience that has the potential to become wisdom. Wisdom does not mean intelligence or skill as much as it means an openness to all of one’s life experience. There is certainly no one way to wisdom – only one’s way – your way. A life well lived is a life that is unique, unbounded by convention. As one accepts more aspects of oneself as true, one can gain an increasingly penetrating sense of peace. Our society has little understanding about this wisdom and tends to focus instead on the physical decline of these years. But I think it is safe to say that the experience of 80 years has greater potential for wisdom than the experience of 60 years which has greater potential than 40, etc. The beauty in a person that has reached old age is to be sure a different beauty than the physical beauty of youth. But look into the face of an older person who has reached life’s final stage with integrity – you can see the accumulation of years in the skin’s crevasses and in the eyes you can see every age this person has ever been. The persona of old age can be one of tremendous beauty. Can you see it? Can you see it in yourself? This is one area of focus for counseling at this stage when death is no longer something remote.

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