“Timidity is very ageing. Fight it to stay younger. After all, with each year that passes, you have less to lose….We all need a healthy dose of vitamin R – risk. Even at my time of life [81 years old], it’s important. I may be aged, with a slight limp, but I’ll sometimes walk along the top of a wall for the hell of it.” Professor Heinz Wolff.
Get old, get wise
“Age widens the focus of attention: older people presented with problem-solving tests go slower, but they do better; they weigh more data, consider more possibilities, and place them in a broader context of experience. Is it any wonder that it takes longer? The neurobiologist Lawrence Katz defines wisdom as ‘a dense and rich network of associations developed through a lifetime of experiences.’” – Oliver Burkeman, Guardian 14.2.09
Who’s vulnerable? challenges Baroness Warnock.
The splendid Mary Warnock argued strongly in The Observer (17.5.09) that old people shouldn’t all be automatically classified as ‘vulnerable’. ‘Of course we know that people age at different rates, according to their genes, their health or their environment; but many people in their 60s and 70s are no more vulnerable than the rest of the population, all of whom, after all, are pretty vulnerable: they may be robbed, mugged, run over by a bus, choked by the field of rape the local farmer has planted next to their house, fall victim to swine flu, whatever their age. In fact the very concept of vulnerability is suspect, if applied to the old as a class defined solely by their date of birth.’
‘…when to deem yourself old at last must be a personal decision’.