Sunday, March 15, 2009

Growing Older Gracefully

A beautiful book, here are just a few choice quotes from my reading:

"The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully" - Joan Chittister ACCOMPLISHMENT
"Scientists have discovered that older people, while not as quick computationally as younger people, do think just as well as the young, but differently - with more depth, with more reflection, with more philosophical awareness... the difference between between the quickness of a computer game and the quality of a logician. The young produce ideas in rapid quantity, but often without form or figure. Older people might reflect on the very same data younger people do, but instead of manipulating it, tend to reduce it to concepts."
"...the number of absolutes in my life [are] precipitously reduced. I'm a lot less dogmatic now about the nature of God. I'm not as sure as I once was about what is gravely damning and what is not. Most important of all, I am happy to put that decision in the hands of the God whose nature seems far more compassionate now - as I have gotten more compassionate myself."
"...Harvard University longitduinal Study of Adult Development... says, [constantly learning] makes the difference between healthy and unhealthy aging. It determines the degree to which life will be satisfying to us, as well as the degree to which we will be interesting, valuable, life-giving to others."
"There are temptations for the elderly... that are particularly deluding because they sound so sensible while they are increasingly destructive. 'I'm too tired tonight...' we learn to say early in the aging process. But the others go on to the show or the party or the civic event, without us. 'She's older now and can't do these things,' they say. We teach them to ignore us and then wonder how it happened."
"There is no time to waste anymore. The now is no longer one moment on the way to another one. It is everything there is to life. When we learn to sink into the moment with that much passion, that much pure, unadulterated sensuousness, we finally learn to be alive."

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