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Philosophy for ageing

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Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn1

The enlightened but doleful predictions of the Reverend Thomas Malthus in 17982 have now truly come to pass. By 2050, Australia will be awash with centenarians, many requiring implants, artificial organs and even cerebral exchanges. No longer the dreary sere and yellow leaf, no longer Shakespeare’s dreaded seventh age “sans teeth, sans eyes … sans everything”,3 only a fortunately placed populace intent on deferring the inevitable.

However, no matter how assiduously we follow the advice from prestigious journals, dietary manuals, exercise directives or even our favourite medical adviser, the outcome of such introspection will only secure for us a relatively limber body encasing a biologically indestructible matrix without any sustenance of soul or freedom from despair.

I would like to tender this personal approach to forfend that impending biological boredom.

Embracing gratitude and selflessness seem to me to be shields against ageing and depression. If one wakens and looks about with a sense of wonderment, curiosity and thankfulness, the outlook for the day is good. Treasured belongings and connections banish from my mind the intrusive “Poor me philosophy”.

I have ceased to agree that it is awful…