“Old age isn’t so bad if you consider the alternative.” My most recent quote book (If Ignorance is Bliss, Why Aren’t There More Happy People? a -Christmas gift from my brother in law) credits Maurice Chevalier with this saying, though it has been repeated so many times it hardly matters. Another quote, “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself,” which reportedly was said by Yogi Berra, George Burns or Andy Rooney, are actually the words of Eubie Blake. Blake was a ragtime pianist and composer who died in 1983 at the age of 100.
Other quotes about age: “It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year.” Tom Lehrer (American satirist, born 1928)
“The years between fifty and seventy are the hardest. You are always being asked to do things, and yet you are not decrepit enough to turn them down.” T.S. Eliot (This is so, so true, as the newly retired will tell you.)
“I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything till noon. That’s when it’s time for my nap.” Bob Hope (1903 – 2003)
“I do not ask to be young again; all I want is to go on getting older.” Konrad Adenauer (First Chancellor of West Germany after WWII. Lived to be 91)
This is not meant to be one of those cutesy articles on aging. If you want one of those, check your email, one will be along soon enough. Many of us who have a few years behind us are faced with questions about how we fit in. Often, ironically enough, the place we feel most out of place is the church where we should feel most at home. The Spring issue of Mature Years addresses the feelings many senior have about noisy worship services and a music genre foreign to their tastes.
In the article “Where Do I Go Now?” the writer, Pachecho Pyle cites several statistics: “Today the United States has more citizens alive over 65 than under 18 . . . ” Also, “Seniors average two to three times more available hours for volunteer church related activities than any other age group.” “A Senior-adult church member will give seven times the money that a baby boomer will give.” “Most senior adults in the church have been Christians for years and have a wealth of wisdom they can share, if given the chance.” And how does Ms. Pyle suggest we make the change from unhappy misfits to productive believers? “First, we [Seniors] must be open to change . . . Second, we must recognize how valuable we are.”
Interesting words. However, they appear in a magazine marketed to and primarily read by senior adults. How do we let the world know how valuable we are?