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Old Age

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Many in society believe that old age is a burden. They believe that one is no longer able to enjoy those pleasures of the body that were once enjoyed and cherished in the younger years. The belief is that once we get old, we are unable to drink and eat as much, the pleasures of the body, youth, and love disappear.

In Book I of Plato's Republic, Socrates has a conversation with Cephalus about old age. Cephalus is an old man. Socrates enjoys speaking with older people as he believes that old people have more knowledge about life than younger people and that there is much to be learned from speaking to the older generation. Socrates asks Cephalus about his journey through life, whether old age is really a burden. Cephalus believes that old age is not a burden but instead a relief from bodily desires. Old age offers a great sense of calm and freedom, when the passions relax their hold, we are no longer enslaved.

Character plays a role on how you perceive old age. A person that is calm and happy will not find old age a burden. Socrates tells Cephalus that it's easy for him to speak that way since he is wealthy and other less fortunate people may not share his same views on old age. Cephaus replies that indeed there are people that could disagree with him, but that "age isn't easy for a good man if he is poor, nor will a bad man ever be cheerful with himself of he is rich."

Personally, I share Cephalus' view on old age. I strongly believe that it's up to the individual as to whether or not they choose to be content with getting older. With old age comes wisdom, happiness, and freedom. Old age is a liberator, not a burden. Once we get older there is less peer pressure, less anxiety over life's problems. The loss of physical abilities can be overridden by enjoyment in other accomplishments.

I am enjoying getting older. I am physically active, I have a good social life and I enjoy trying new things that will challenge me and help me grow. I have the wisdom and financial freedom to do as I desire. I'm excited about my future and getting older. I believe old age is what the individual makes of it. The power of the mind is amazing. I believe we are what we think we are. If you believe you are old and unable to do certain things because society says, "an old person shouldn't do these things," then you will believe you are old and be miserable as you get older.

Those people that choose to keep themselves physically and mentally active will always have a positive attitude towards getting older. By keeping your mind and body active, you will still be able to do most of the things you did when you were younger. In my case I have been fortunate that I'm able to enjoy a certain lifestyle that most people don't have. However, I still believe that the mind and character are two powerful tools when it comes getting older. A less fortunate person can still find old age to be a liberating, wonderful experience. Wealth does not determine happiness. There are many old people that enjoy themselves despite having limited resources.

Older people with less economic resources can find happiness in other accomplishments. I know many older people that have taken up hobbies such as gardening, woodworking, teaching, reading books, walking, or simply spending time with friends and family. Old age can be a wonderful time. Happiness at any age depends on your outlook on life. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there that still have a negative outlook on getting older. My older sister Anna is one of those people.

Anna is a habitual whiner when it comes to getting older. Anna believes that



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