The following is a passage from the book, This Is Getting Old: Zen Thoughts on Aging with Humor and Dignity (Shambhala, 2010) by Susan Moon:
“It annoys me when people say, ‘Even if you’re old, you can be young at heart!’ Hiding inside this well-meaning phrase is a deep cultural assumption that old is bad and young is good. What’s wrong with being old at heart, I’d like to know? Wouldn’t you like to be loved by people whose hearts have practiced loving for a long time?”
A very fine reflection on the social construct that young is good and old is bad. It belies the age denial mechanism that says ‘age is just a number’.
Let us be counter-cultural, prophetic believers in a God of Infinite Love who made ALL creation --- all through the life span --- “good, very good.”
If we hold that value-laden stance, how differently would we see our aging body, for example, or the aging bodies of others? The waistline that has expanded as we grow from youth to middle age and later is worthy of respect and honor. That double chin is “just perfect”. Therefore, I, the person – so much more than just the physical -- am worthy of rerpect and honor and am “just perfect” as I am.
And of course this is true for our neighbors as well as for the strangers who cross our paths.