The Threshold of Old Age

“There is nothing for my part I like better, Cephalus, than conversing with aged men; for I regard them as travellers who have gone a journey which I too may have to go, and of whom I ought to enquire, whether the way is smooth and easy, or rugged and difficult. And this is a question which I should like to ask of you who have arrived at that time which the poets call the “threshold of old age” — is life harder towards the end, or what report do you give of it?” — Plato in The Republic


My family loves to eat out on weekends and we try out a new place we chance to find on the web. On one occasion, we decided to try a new cro-nut place.  I was handed the menu and started to rummage through my purse (which carries about a hundred different what-nots from my phone, Kindle, wallet, lipsticks, lip balm, powder, tissue, napkins, notebook, car keys, house keys, card holder, Mentos, and other stuff I’ve forgotten it’s there) looking for my reading glasses. It’s not in there. “How can I read without my . . .” , I would start, then my daughter takes one look at me and tells me, “It’s on your head, mom.” Voila!

Far-sightedness and forgetfulness were the first signs of old age I noticed when I reached my 40s. Lines and spots have also begun to show on my face lately, and my hair needed color too.  Now I ask myself, Am I at the threshold of old age? Duh? Obviously, isn’t it? Ok, I accept that fact, but still, like Plato, I still love a good conversation with persons older than I am. It’s like having a good meal. You leave feeling great and filled with new-found knowledge and wisdom.

On the other hand, I believe knowledge and wisdom are not acquired only with age. It can be found among the young as well. I’ve learned a lot from my children, even when they were still very young. I also enjoy reading blogs written by young people and find them truly awe-inspiring.

When I was young, my mom would say, “Always listen to your elders’ advice, for while you are still on your way, we’re on our way back . . .”


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