The acuity of my self-evaluation attenuates at about the same rate as my proficiency, thus obscuring some, at least, of the ravages of aging. Self-delusory? Certainly, but one lives first and foremost within one’s self: observers come in a distant second.
Odd business, this aging stuff: it’s indisputably a big problem for those who, for some decades at least, will continue to outnumber the aged, however so defined, but who inexorably come to comprise an increasing proportion of those who are the cause of the problems, relative to those who suffer from them, like kids who are puzzled and distraught when dear old Grannie/Grandpa evanesce into oblivion; youngsters, most of whom find aging and the aged not the least bit ‘cool’; and tax payers who – unless they’re French – accept perforce, but do not relish the mountainous burden of providing for that very population sector which, whilst railing against their very existence, they strive to join. (The human race, you will have noticed, is not over-endowed with the logic gene.)
How does society deal with all this? Well, one of the arguably more illogical activities of some of the most talented and innovative of our bio-what-have-you’s is to seek to prolong the lifespan of the most privileged aged amongst us – a double (negative) whammy: more non-productive consumers while zillions of fellow humans fail to live long enough to produce more than they consume.
OK, maybe ‘three score years and ten’ was a bit mingy, but isn’t mid-eighties long enough? And why make fruitful ancients retire while they still have much to offer? (A self-serving statement that since I’m 81 and still playing tennis with some competence 3 or 4 times a week – subject, of course, to the first paragraph hereof.)
Yes, some Heads of State, e.g. Adenaur, continued into their nineties, not noticeably screwing up more than the average occupier of such positions. But the fruitful contributions to society by some of the past-their-use-by-date faction should (shouldn’t it?) alas, be balanced against the negative impact of the much bigger group of emotional and financial problem generators that comprise the large majority of the over-the-hill mob.
No, I’m not advocating euthanasia: I only pose questions but don’t try to answer them. (Long live bloggery!)