When I'm Old, I Want People with Young Minds by My Side
When the years weigh down on me and my skin is lined with wrinkles, I want people with young minds and happy hearts by my side. I want my bones to hurt from laughing so much, and I want my tired feet to keep dancing. I don’t want to lose the people that excite my soul and give me hope.
I share these desires with most people. But it’s also true that getting old is not pleasant. Beyond the wisdom and personal balance that you gain, getting old involves mostly losing. You lose your youth, your health, your energy, and even your future. And then you become aware that the most important things in life are your personal relationships.
“Knowing how to age is the masterpiece of life, and one of the most complicated parts of the difficult art of life.”
-Henri Frédéric Amiel-
Arriving at the last stage of life with exceptional people by your side is without a doubt the most valuable thing you can invest in, and you should start investing now. Look for modest, great, and magical people with young minds who add life to your years, and happiness to every candle you blow out on your birthdays.
People with young minds never age
Having a young mind is a privilege reserved for very few people. Even some young people have the mind of an 80-year-old. Their horizons are not broadened by new perspectives, and they leave no space for spontaneity, curiosity, or passion for life.
These types of people aren’t useful at all when you’re climbing the last step of life. During this time, you need a lot more strength, energy, and positivity to ease the physical pain of your bones, of the loss of a spouse, of the sadness that sometimes lingers for seemingly no reason, when existence just weighs too much.
Happy hearts and young minds are your best allies to help you see more clearly from the top of the mountain that is personal maturity. Because getting old is, first and foremost, the art of continuing to be hopeful, and that is what you get from people who have such a special glow in their gaze.
It’s the light of a heart that has suffered and healed itself, that understands that every day is a new opportunity to be happy, whether you’re 20, 50, or 79 years old.
I only want the best by my side
According to an interesting study published in the journal Current Biology, humans and macaques are share many more behaviors than we think. One such behavior is one that we develop as we get older, becoming very selective in our friendships.
It’s clear that many of us already do this before we cross the threshold of 70 years old. However, like many primates, we have a vital need to seek support and company from the significant people in our lives when our time starts to become limited.
For a time, this was explained by a simple – but incorrect – reasoning. People said that when you get old, you have less resources and less energy, so in order to play it safe, you focus on what you have close to you. But today, it’s clear that it’s not really like that. In reality, both macaques and humans follow a fundamental law: you have to surround yourself with special people and enjoy quality time together.
As children, we don’t apply this filter of selection. We just cling to the first people we meet, whether it’s for love or friendship. However, as we learn from our experiences, our internal compass gradually starts to guide us, and we finally tell ourselves what clicks with us and what doesn’t.
When you get to an old age, you still have the desire and energy to meet people and socialize. It’s just that you get way more selective. You don’t value just anything anymore. Laura Ameling, a scientist at the German Primate Center, discovered that elderly macaques hung out with a select few members of their group (regardless of age) and rejected others.
Most of the time, they dedicated themselves to socializing in these small groups, which involved looking after, grooming, and picking bugs off of each other. Above all, they sought enriching relationships in their last years of life. And the same thing happens with humans. Nobody is as valuable as the people you have close to you, every day.
To reach old age in the best way, it’s ideal to have people with young minds by your side. Brave people, full of light and strength, who keep encouraging you to learn, to enjoy yourself, to face the difficulty of illness and loss. Because even though the passage of time is inevitable, aging in mind and spirit is an option that you shouldn’t allow yourself to choose.