The Irony of old age
The general assumption is that the older we get, the wiser we become. This assumption is valid in a certain way as age brings with it it’s own version of wisdom. Apart from learned knowledge through books and formal education, we also gain knowledge through life experiences. The more years we spend on earth, the more events we experience, the more knowledge we gather. Even the most isolated man and the most unteachable person will learn 1 or 2 things for every year they live. Every day brings with it, it’s own experience. Experience helps us learn, especially if we are willing and ready to learn. Perhaps, this why older people are seen to be wiser because the years they have lived have been marked with experiences. We learn as we grow. As babies, we learned to crawl, walk, run, talk, and communicate. Barring a brain-damaging disease or accident, we will never lose this knowledge, or so we think. Time gives, time robs There is certain knowledge that time has given us that should last us a lifetime. Some of them do. Like emotions and feelings, they usually last us forever, regardless of what might happen, although not all knowledge lasts us forever. The knowledge we gather over our lifetime is a product if the time we have lived. The same time can rob us of this knowledge when we grow older. Memories are the storehouses of our knowledge. This same knowledge which we gain more of as we grow older can be lost as we grow older. It is a profound irony that as we gather more experience, we stand the risk of losing all the knowledge we have gained with the experiences. The human mind is fully susceptible to memory diseases. Forgetfulness comes naturally with age, and in extreme cases, forgetfulness becomes Alzheimer’s disease. More knowledge, less memory. Only a few lucky persons escape the claws of memory loss due to age. They are sharp-witted and have clear memories even till their dying days. They might experience the normal slight forgetfulness that comes with getting old, but they are still sharp as nails. Others might not be so lucky as nature takes its toll on the mind. Leaving it grasping for memories and knowledge that once was familiar. To despair or not? When age visits us with its forgetfulness when Alzheimer’s disease decided to stop at our doorsteps, what do we do? Do we despair? No, we show gratitude for the life we have lived that has given us so many beautiful memories, experience, and knowledge. We make a visual collection of these memories and knowledge and use them to remember when we forget. We cherish every moment we share and share whatever knowledge we have gathered over the years. We pass down the knowledge and experiences we have been fortunate to get throughout our lifetime. Despite the looming possibility of a loss of memory, old age is not a curse; it is evidence of a life well-lived.