Living Life to the Fullest
No wise man ever wished to be younger .
—J ONATHAN S WIFT
S taying young is looked on by most of the rest of the world as a peculiarly American obsession. This obsession is certainly fostered and exploited by the advertising industry, but its causes have to be looked for elsewhere.
In many countries, it is the old who are venerated for their wisdom and authority. The United States is another matter. It is a young country with a relatively short history. It is also a nation built on the idea of progress and hope in the future. And to whom does the future belong if not to youth?
Keeping up with change is unfortunately identified by too many people with how they look rather than how they think or feel. To be young in heart and spirit has very little to do with wearing the latest style in clothes or learning the latest dances. Maintaining an open mind receptive to new ideas, keeping the capacity for pleasure in the details of daily living, refusing to be overwhelmed by essentially unimportant irritations can make the middle years more joyful for any family.