Exhibit Number One is my friend Din, who played Tic-Tac-Toe with me in school when the history lessons became mortally boring. He has both high blood pressure and high blood sugar, as many above sixty seem to have, but is quite fit, drives his weather-beaten car to visit his son in another part of town, bullies his wife to cook what he should not be eating, and on rare occasions deigns to take short walks in the park opposite his home.
I offer myself, immodestly, as the third exhibit. I am not in a stage that anybody would call young, but I neither feel decrepit nor think of myself as an older person. I live by myself, travel and work extensively, eat and drink happily, socialize energetically, read indiscriminately, eat sensibly but enthusiastically, drink heartily though not heavily, and live very joyfully.
As the standard of life go up, savings make up for the loss of income when people stop working. As the standard of healthcare go up, new drugs and therapies make up for the age-associated frailties. Suddenly the ever-expanding work hours are replaced by the ever-promising leisure hours. Comfortable travel, carefree socialization, congenial sports, capricious reading, all become possible and available.
No, the experience of old age, even with its dolorous signs of creaky joints, leaky memory and waning energy, will not drive you to walk out the door in search of Nirvana. It will rather help you scale to a new plateau of placidity, reconcile you to the soaring peak you will never reach, and make you glad that you have what you have: a wealth of life, a taste of peace and the prospect of abundant joy.