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Reframing Ideas About Youth The SeniorScape®

In preparing for my October 28th TEDx talk, I sent my dear friend, who is also my former undergraduate college professor, the draft of my talk. She is not only an incredible writer but always offers me wise counsel from her distinct point of view.

She sent me something that her father always carried in his wallet. I thought it interesting that I hit on some of the same points in my talk. I decided to offer it in this week's blog in its entirety as food for thought

YOUTH is not a time of life ... it is a state of mind.

It is not a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is a freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over love of ease. This often exists in a man of fifty more than a boy of twenty.

Nobody grows old merely living a number of years; people grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair . .. these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.

Whether seventy or sixteen, there is in every being's heart the love of wonder, the sweet amazement of the stars and star-like things and thoughts, the undaunted challenge of events, the unfailing child-like appetite for what next, and the joy and game of life.

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.

In the central place of your heart there is a wireless station; so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage, grandeur and power from the earth, from men and from the Infinite, so long are you young. "

When the wires are all down and all the central place of your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then are you grown old indeed and may God have mercy on your soul.

- Anonymous.

What are your thoughts about youth? Why do we say youth is wasted on the young?

Is it because once we've reached our older years we've lost the vitality we associate with

youth? Is it only the physical vitality we associate with youth? Or is it the exuberance, wonder, passion, and drive?

Our society has a negative view of older adults, which despite efforts to the contrary, I believe is continually perpetuated. I think it also informs how we view ourselves.

Here’s an example. Have you seen commercials with older people who say

they take an over-the-counter drug so they can keep up with the younger

folks? It sends the message that they are becoming more forgetful, less

energetic, and less capable. For me it only reinforces negative stereotypes

about older people.

Does this inform how people feel about themselves as they age? That it is inevitable that they will lose their energy, cognitive ability, and overall capability.

Though there are circumstances beyond our control, personal choice plays a large part. As an example, people living in the 5 Blue Zones are regions in the world where people are claimed to live healthfully to 100 years and beyond. The five blue zones are: Okinawa Prefecture, Japan; Nuoro Province, Sardinia, Italy; the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California, United States.

Finally, please consider attending, or sharing the TEDx Event Information. TED Women 2023 Two Steps Forward Presented by TEDx Dear Park Women Date: October 28, 2023 Location: Van Nostrand Theater Suffolk Community College Brentwood, NY

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