Monday, July 28, 2008

A simple matter of AGE: give up or give in to power and/or glory!

I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but age, ageing and the aged,- or the young,- seems to have crept into the news and media to a great extent lately. We are an ageing society it seems,- all living longer than previous generations,- which is bad for the economy apparently!

First we had the ageing Aussie PM, Howard vs. the new but younger then Opp. Leader Rudd. At least if they would have given his Deputy PM Costello a chance, age would have been removed from the equation. Now they have McCain vs. Obama in the USA.

But we just had the ageing Pope being adulated by masses of young people in Sydney during the Catholic World Youth Day celebrations. Interviewer Denton has just concluded a series of interviews with several senior personalities on ABC TV,- most of whom didn't look exactly in their prime, but they sure were more interesting than some of the younger personalities who haven't experienced very much as yet. None of them were in any position of power anymore though, having given-up on it one way or another!

Now in the USA they have a 70+ Senator up against a 40+ for the next Presidency,- while in our personal circle of friends, the ranks are thinning thick and fast in the 70+ age bracket. In Israel, octogenarian Peres seems to be doing quite well, but poor Sharon was struck down with a stroke at a critical time for Israel, while Mugabee at 80+ is clinging to power in Zimbabwe as though he intends to rule forever.

I have friends who are well past their prime, but still make plans for years ahead, to travel to exotic places and build their dream-retirement home, "but not yet". A (senior)neighbour just came home with a broken leg from travelling just up to the Northern Territory and West Australia,- would I want this to happen in Mongolia or South India? Not me anymore,- (but it never occurred to me in my younger days).

An 80-year-old 'coquette' friend of mine, was fine when we left her in May,-she looked terrific for her age, had men-friends, until one day she returned from a holiday abroad and didn't recognise her 'beau' of 3 months ago and sadly didn't remember even her late husband of 50+ years! The late US Pres.Regan was in that state while President,- how can one vote with confidence for someone in that age group for a top job?

I know sept- and octo-genarians who still want to be at the head of organizations and will fight tooth and nail for it. There are aged people who cling to power over families' money, others do so in the community. Looking at USA Sen. McCain,- not just at his age, but also his supposed state of health,- will the people really want to entrust their nation for 4 years at least ,to someone of that age,- regardless of anything else? On the other hand, is perhaps 45 a little too young to head a whole nation the size of the USA?

I think that the choices those 2 candidates will make for their running mates will be crucial to their candidature.

Without giving-in to getting old,- there must be some reality-check in our lives re when to give-in or give-up on the things we did or planned to do in our younger days. Particularly on yearning or clinging to power over others,- on the other hand, we must eventually be able to trust someone to have power over us at some stage in our lives,- a rather frightening thought!

Miriam M.

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