Friday, September 16, 2005

Why are people afraid of growing old?

One of the more common fears in western society is a fear of growing old. This fear, once of lesser importance in non-western cultures, is growing as societies that once highly valued its most elderly generation now treat them more and more as redundant vessels that must be cared for but are of little use.
What is it that people fear about growing older? Do they see elderly people in nursing homes who are crippled and feeble-minded and worry that they will become like these people? Do they see families where younger generations can't wait to get the older folks into nursing homes? Do they see families where middle aged people spend all of their free time and some of their work time looking after weak and helpless parents?
I suspect that most people see those who experience these situations in their families the way they view people who become drug addicts or gambling addicts. Bad luck, but it will never happen to me.
Then what are they afraid of?
They are afraid that they will not be prepared to be "old." They don't want to be physically unable to care for themselves. They don't want to be mentally unable to think for themselves. In short, they don't want their future to be in the hands of younger people or a government that will treat them like mail to be shuffled around but not well looked after.
They don't want to be physically weak, but they will not do exercises now, when they are younger, to strengthen their muscles and their bones. Because they are too busy now.
They don't want to be mentally weak, but they will not do what they must to strengthen their brain to defend against it breaking down from lack of cognitive thinking. They don't have time to read and think. Reading and thinking are hard work. They are too busy and too sophisticated to do that much hard work.
Too busy now, afraid for the future.
Or is it too lazy now and the expectation of being even more stupid in the future than they are now?
No one makes people become stupid. They stupidify themselves.
Some people have bodies that will not last in peak condition until they are 80 or 90 years of age. That's life. But many others could be much better if they would get the exercise their bodies need before their bodies become too weak. After a body is broken is not the time to try to protect it.
Every brain will last far longer than the body it inhabits. That is, it will last longer if it is exercised.
But that's hard work and sophisticated people don't want to do hard work. That's the way of life in the western world.
Self stupidification.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' a book and program to prevent self stupidification by teach childrne what they need before they need it.
Learn more at

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