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Smiling Old Woman
Old Tattoo Man
Two Old Women
The lifespan trajectories of fluid and crystallized intelligence
(Source: Open University adaptation of Baltes, P.B. (1987) 'Theoretical propositions on lifespan developmental psychology: on the dynamics between growth and decline', Developmental Psychology, no. 23, p.615)
10+ Reasons Why Old People are Valuable
1. They are needed to have an extended family and to practise attachment parenting.
2. They carry experience, and often wisdom. "The advice of their elders to young men is very apt to be as real as a list of the hundred best books." (Oliver Wendell Holmes)
3. They can be living treasures. "Youth is the gift of nature. Age is a work of art." (Stanislaw Jerzy Lec)
4. They are more likely to be better lovers. "People don’t really get GOOD at sex until their 50s or 60s and you can have a hot sex life until the day you pass on." (Susan Bratton, posted 1 January 2014, accessed 2 January 2014)
5. They are the people most likely to be spiritually enlightened, to embody Light and Love and Truth. Read more in Old People Spirituality.
6. Most people get happier as they grow older, studies on people aged up to their mid-90s suggest. Despite worries about ill health, income, changes in social status and bereavements, later life tends to be a golden age, according to psychologists. They found older adults generally make the best of the time they have left and have learned to avoid situations that make them feel sad or stressed. (BBC, posted 7 August 2009, accessed 1 February 2014)
7. Older people are far less likely than younger people to experience persistent negative moods and are more resilient to hearing personal criticism. (BBC, posted 7 August 2009, accessed 1 February 2014)
8. Older people are much better at controlling and balancing their emotions - a skill that appeared to improve the older they became. (BBC, posted 7 August 2009, accessed 1 February 2014)
9. A culture that overvalues youth and undervalues elderhood urgently needs re-balancing, and today's elders are responding to that challenge. The Art of Ageing, John Lane's delightfully honest little book about the realities and rewards of old age, is a valuable addition to the ageing/sage-ing genre. With his usual simplicity, grace and wisdom, John shares his own experiences and insights, offers useful advice and invites eleven other old men and women to tell their stories too. This is a book which, whilst denying neither the frustrations and limitations of our physicality nor the terrible bittersweetness of our mortality, reveals the creativity, the passion, the adventure and the profound joy that can come when our elder years are fully lived and savoured. (Marian Van Eyk McCain, editor of GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness and author of Elderwoman and The Lilypad List: 7 steps to the simple life) (Product description review of book The Art of Ageing, accessed 14 December 2010)
10. Their hearts are more likely to be open and thus they are better able to serve the world. "The older I get, the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball - the further I am rolled the more I gain." (Susan B. Anthony)
11. Self-knowledge and self-worth.
"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." (Joseph Campbell)
"There is no such thing as maturity. There is instead an ever-evolving process of maturing. Because when there is a maturity, there is a conclusion and a cessation. That’s the end. That’s when the coffin is closed. You might be deteriorating physically in the long process of aging, but your personal process of daily discovery is ongoing. You continue to learn more and more about yourself every day." (Bruce Lee cited here, accessed 19 November 2013)
12. Tribe Safety. Sleep research suggests that, for evolutionary reasons, the sleep patterns of older people alter. They rise earlier and have more irregular sleeping patterns, whereas younger people tend to be more owlish. This allows a tribe to be awake and alert almost all the time (BBC, posted and accessed 12 July 2017).
13. Cultural knowledge. Research suggests that there are qualitative changes in memory and intelligence with age (rather than loss). Overall, functioning in later life is affected by social contexts and adult thought is characterized by dialectical maturity. This division between (crystallized) intelligence as acquired ‘cultural’ knowledge and (fluid) intelligence as information processing has been reflected in many theories of intellectual development but is most closely mirrored by Baltes’ two-component model [see figure below]. (Open University 'DSE212 (Exploring Psychology)' module Book 2 (2007), pp.47, 49 [my hyperlink])
Yoda was 900 years old!
Old People Spirituality