Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 8, 2009 - The Gift of Years: Growing Old Gracefully

It happens that I have gotten several assignments from The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C. (where I am a free-lance feature writer) to review books or to attend seminars when a book is discussed. A recent panel discussion concerned “The Gift of Years: Growing Old Gracefully” by Joan Chittister.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects the population over 65 years will be 72 million people by 2030, about 20 percent of the total population. This is twice as many senior citizens as in the year 2000.

Few people look forward to aging, especially when they consider its effects: slower movements, medical problems, sagging skin, bulging middles, gray hair and most importantly, diminishing respect from younger people.

American culture concentrates on youth and beauty and doesn’t give much value to aging. Chittister acknowledges the disadvantages age brings, but she suggests people consider its benefits:
· Beginning of a new life
· Time to think of your purpose
· Wisdom of years
· Freedom, primarily from work, raising children and other restraints
· Developing another kind of usefulness

The list goes on. What’s the benefit of reading the book? A new perspective on aging.

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