Is There Really Such A Thing As A Man That’s Too Old?

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As the years go by, we are unveiling the latest medical wonders. These advances in human health, be they the fact that smoking is indeed quite bad for us, or the introduction of vaccines that prevent us from catching deadly diseases, mean that for the most part, we are living longer. In 1930, the average life expectancy for a man was merely 58. Today, the average man lives for a staggering 78 years. That’s 20 more birthdays, and possibly some great grandchildren if you’re lucky!

If our lives are radically changing medically, what does that entail for our social lives? Physically, we are meant to peak in our late 20s. But, if we’re living that much longer, hopefully we won’t be spending those extra years in a rocking chair!

Old Age is a peculiar phenomenon that affects us physically and mentally. How many times have you said ‘I’m getting too old for this’? (When I’m crawling around in the playground with my friend’s kids, for instance.) When do those night clubs begin to look daunting? When do you begin to feel offended by the kinds of music you hear on the radio? And most importantly: when will the ‘old man’ jokes start?

In terms of the latter, it could begin as soon as you sprout that first, midlife crisis-inducing grey hair. Society’s trends are accelerating at such a rapid pace, what with our insatiable thirst for technology and the rate at which we consume the latest radio hit, that it sometimes takes a conscious effort to stay in ‘the loop’ (I am 23, and I have trouble matching up a song with its respective boy band!) Harking back to the 70s, -which was a decade of monumental change-, expressionism and uniqueness are now solid pillars of society. It is often ‘cool’ to do the exact opposite of what society deems to be the norm. With such a rapid change in all things social, any traditional values that we hold can be shaken down.

This holds true for our age, too. ‘Mental Age’ is a recurring term: many people feel, and look younger than they are. While this may be down to hair dye and cosmetic surgery, we as a society are arguably smashing the expectations of age.

Then, there are people such as the remarkable Fauja Singh. At the ripe old age of 102, he was running marathons. You would imagine that somebody over a century old would struggle just to walk, but this man stands as testament to the fact that age really is just a number. As we are now in an age where the extraordinary is more often than not praised, we should not fear criticism for partaking in activities that are seemingly ‘beyond our years’. If you want to relive that childhood dream of sledding down the side of a hill on a frying pan, who’s going to stop you?

Although we do need to bear in mind that our bodies do become more frail as we age, and certain physical feats may become dangerous, the mind is as young as you wish it to be! You are only young once, which is an inescapable truth, but growing old should never be a restriction on your quality of life.

Matthew Tomlin | News Cult