As We Age - Sunday, January 25, 2015
In many ways, life gets better with age—sometimes surprisingly so. The common belief is that a person’s overall sense of well-being goes downhill as he or she gets older, but researchers are finding—and many older people themselves are discovering—that this is not necessarily the case.
For example, as we age, wisdom and understanding can flourish. Intelligence can develop and expertise can deepen, which can enhance creativity and productivity. Friendships can become more meaningful as the passing years teach us to prioritize what matters most. One Stanford University professor said, “Contrary to the popular view that youth is the best time of life, the peak of emotional life may not occur until well into the seventh decade.”1 While youth may have advantages, good things can come with age.
Of course, growing older has its share of challenges and difficulties. And, if we continue to live, we’ll each get there. So how can we turn this remarkable season of life into truly “golden” years?
Perhaps one suggestion is to focus more on what we can do than on what we cannot do. Age does come with limitations, but we all can do something. It doesn’t have to be grand or monumental to be worthwhile. We can look for small and simple ways to reach out to others—make a phone call, send a note, extend a helping hand, or show interest in another’s life. We can learn something new—go to a museum, listen to an audiobook that stretches our mind a bit, or take up a new interest or hobby. We can look for opportunities to share our lived experience and acquired knowledge.
In other words, we can resolve to live life in crescendo, ever growing and always serving. Time will pass, no matter how we spend it—so let’s make the most of the time we’ve been given and live our days well.
- Lloyd D. Newell
1. Laura Carstensen, in Anne Tergesen, “Why Everything You Think about Aging May Be Wrong,” Wall Street Journal, Nov. 30, 2014, http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-everything-you-think-about-aging-may-be-wrong-1417408057.
Jan. 25, 2015, Broadcast Number 4,454
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
Hallelujah Chorus, from Christ on the Mount of Olives
Ludwig van Beethoven
The Lord My Pasture Will Prepare
Dmitri Bortniansky; arr. Mack Wilberg
The Colorado Trail: Fantaisie for Harp, op. 28
American folk song; arr. Mack Wilberg
On Great Lone Hills
Jean Sibelius (from Finlandia)