Youth may be nice, but ‘aging is not negative’

Eric Ariel Salas

Eric Ariel Salas

While having my daily dose of coffee mocha at Cottonwood, I gazed upon a couple who also frequent the shop, just like me, but for their evening tea and slices of sandwiches. She is not the usual lady who bends her head on her partner’s shoulder. Neither is she the one who smiles constantly and flirts. He is not the man who winks at her when trying to make a point. He does not hold her hand. He sips his tea without pretensions or fear of not getting a good impression from her. She is his wife. He is her husband. By the look of her gray hair and his balding head, they are on their late 70s or maybe even early 80s. At their age and still enjoying the regular Cottonwood visits and the sips of tea, who says this is a young world?

There are people I know who find aging so astonishing. I smile to myself whenever I hear someone say, “You have visibly grown older.” It gives me the impression that we live in a world made for and of the young. With the way we view youthfulness and revere youth above one’s ability, knowledge and experience, who is to blame? Our mind is partly corrupted with the idea that aging is a no-no in our society.

Watch TV the whole day and count the number of commercials advocating beauty products, anti-aging creams and diets that will make you look 10 years younger. Have you heard about the buzz created by the rejuvenation pills or Human Growth Hormone (HGH) pills? We have now created a trend of youth. Go online and read scientific papers on “stopping age” supported by the National Institute on Aging.

A recent study published in the FASEB Journal found the reason why our hair turns gray (or white) as we become old. The culprit for gray hair – the Catalase enzyme! Scientists think that by knowing what causes the hair to change color, an anti-aging hair supplement can be made. Now we can start imagining a world without gray hairs and what a boring world that would be.

Since aging is inevitable, there are many times that we spot opportunities only at a later age. Those times we wish we were young again. A friend told me she would do whatever it takes to look younger so she could be this and she could be that. Even purchasing the anti-wrinkle pillow is one of her options. Yes, you can buy a copper oxide pillowcase that irons out those face lines. The company that sells the fabric so far has sold about 10,000 pillowcases online, in the U.S. alone.

Aging is wisdom increasing more and more. Even though this is not true all the time, we notice that as we get older, we begin to see things – life in detail – clearer. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The years teach much which the days never knew.” Aging is not negative, and when Father Time comes to carve those cracks on our faces and to paint the hair on our head white, we should take it like a million-dollar reward. We just reflect that every time a year is added to our age, a spark of wisdom is also superimposed to help us appreciate the true colors within and around us.

Right now, we should not take for granted the forte of our body and the luxury of time presented in front of us. We must not feel lost in the vast splendor, sorrow, thrill, passion and confusion of youth.