My students will be reading an excellent book, Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom. If you have not read it you MUST read it! It is an excellent book about a professor who is dying of ALS and his student. In his final months the professor teaches his student the most important lessons of life. It is a book about respecting life at all stages, listening to wisdom, learning how to love, and let go.
During one of the talks that Morrie had with Mitch they discussed youth, aging and envy of younger generations. Morrie said, “How can I be envious of where you are, when I’ve been there myself.”
We live in a society where youth is idolized, especially by women. Women are bombarded with messages telling them to look younger, slimmer, prettier, wrinkle free, without grey hair, or any saggy parts. The beauty industry is booming, plastic surgery is out of control and women are being fired for age discrimination if they have media jobs where they are on camera.
Given our society’s expectations of aging I think we need to think again! We need to stand up for the right to be human, to age with dignity instead of denying it, covering it up or altering it with surgery or Botox.
We need to embrace our age, wisdom and who we are on the inside and the outside. Every wrinkle means we lived, every grey hair says we have had experiences, every imperfection reveals our humanity. Morrie has it right: “Why be envious when we were already there.” As we age we become jealous of other’s youth however, if we really think about all the insecurities and questioning of our youth most of us would be happy to be where we are today.
Today, we are more comfortable in our skin with who we are and we know what is more important in life than looks; it’s love, faith and relationships, not make up, perfection or youth. Morrie had it so right! So, don’t be envious instead be proud to be the age you are now!
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Copyright 2015 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp