Life begins at 60
( Maung Than Weik )
Thanks to the ever advancing science and technology, modern therapies and medicines can now cure diseases that were incurable in the past and prevent infections that were once uncontrollable,offering longer, healthier and happier lives for humans of this planet we call Earth.
Men and women live longer than ever enjoying happier and better lives, and the population of senior citizens soaring in many countries around the world. This also signals a growing responsibility and problem for services like old-age care and social services for the aged especially for the poor.
In safe hands
We all know that no old man can become a young man again and that we cannot beat ageing as we are growing older and older, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, month by month and year by year. In fact, ageing concerns with every one male or female, rich or poor or in East or West.
Fortunately, most of the older people in our country are safe and sound under the close protection and care of their own grown-up children, which is one of the wonderful and cherished traditional values of Myanmar people. Normally, a son or a daughter will take care of his or her parents at home while other siblings provide other necessary assistance for them, or all the children will take care of their parents at their homes in turn. As long as this wonderful and admirable tradition lives on grandpas and grandmas of our country will be in safe hands. And there are homes for the aged providing accommodations especially for older people with no one to support and charities offering help for them.
Time lets no man escape old age. Every young man full of energy will become old one day. Later, he will become feeble while his resistance power dwindles inviting sickness in various forms till death comes knocking at his door. This was what Siddhartha realized over 2500 years ago and later discovered the path to Nirvana. But remember, he was the Bodhisattva.As for the ordinary people like us we should first find the ways that help us live longer and healthier. In fact, a well balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle have become the essential part when we grow older. Accordingly, we need to switch to a healthier lifestyle soonest.
But at which age we can call a person old? That depends on his physical and mental health. Some work till 80 or even more. The retirement age for government service is 60. But many follow active life after retirement. And some even join the private sector in addition to concentrating more on religion. Now there is another area, the political sector, from which we can serve the national interest effectively by applying our rich experiences and wider knowledge for the good of Myanmar citizens. Especially, the literary world has many grandpas and grandmas still active and strong in serving their own people through the might of pen.
The important thing here is that we need to stay healthy however old we are. Especially when we reach 50, we must be aware of our own health as we are nearing old age. But we are not an elderly citizen yet and we don’t need to surrender all the secular values. The only thing we need is to take special care of our own health and fitness. So we must adopt a balanced and a healthy lifestyle quitting all habits that are hazardous to our health.So, we can normally say 60 is the age we start entering the life of an elderly person or the beginning of a new life through healthy ageing.
Actually, healthy ageing is a popular practice nowadays covering a wide range of sectors from physical exercises and reading to healthy lifestyles and eating habits and staying active.
Sincerely, we all are afraid of ageing as it brings anxiety about and fear over the possible problems such as taking care of ourselves, life after the death of spouse, loneliness, and the loss of memory. But we must realize that many of these anxieties and fears originate in myths about ageing that are overstated or purely untrue.
Beyond doubt, we must have confidence in ourselves that we are even stronger and tougher than we think.
Previously, people thought that life begins at 40. But now we have made a new discovery that life actually begins at 60 meaning although we are ageing we never get old or feeble.Truly, we cannot stop ageing, but we will never surrender to it. Instead, we will continue to reinvent ourselves while discovering new things and areas we enjoy, trying to adapt to changing conditions, staying physically and socially strong and active, practicing vippassana or yoga, serving the community if possible and feeling ever connected to our community and dear ones.
So, prepare yourselves to begin your life at 60, or if you have already reached the age, you must be sure that you are ageing healthily and happily with your future still bright and hopeful. There is no surrender.
The Myawady Daily