I refer to the article ‘MRSM friendship stays strong’ in the NST dated 16 September 2019.
When someone especially your colleagues who will always say ‘we are old, so we better be very careful and take very good care with our lives as there are little time left’, it may strike us on aging.
It is your friend that maybe known to have sickness or worst ‘mental illnesses’. It depends on the person you are having talk with about ‘old’.
By next year 2020, my alumnus MRSM PC/KB 73 will enter our 60th birthday, meaning it is time for compulsory retirement to those working in the government and private sector but not to those who owned business or self-employed.
Some well-to-do members had been calling for a ‘re-union’ marking our 47th years of friendship since 1973.
Since our last meet 4 years ago, many had silver hairs, no hairs and not forgetting more than 15 had left-us.
Some were stopping, if not stooping while quite a number are still going at picking pace and accelerating nicely as we entered the chapters of our lives.
Soon, we will be 60, should we consider ourselves as ‘old’?
Well truly enough, some of us had grandchildren, some are grandpas (but still having are healthy and happily living the life of 50’s).
On wedding meets, conversations are now hyper-focused on how to stay young or at least delay old.
The term “old” is changing, as life spans have grown longer. During the 80’s and 90’s, people used to say ‘life begins at 40’ and middle-aged is at 50.
In the 21st century era, ‘someone who is 60 years old today is middle-age’, anyone disagree?
Dr. Sergei Scherbov, the lead researcher of a multiyear study on aging says for Americans to be called ‘old’, it’s roughly 70 to 71 for men and 73 to 74 for women. “Your true age is not just the number of years you have lived.”
Factors such as life expectancy, personal health, cognitive function and disability rates all play a role, he said, and today’s 65-year-old is more like a 55-year-old from 45 years ago.
Clearly, much depends on the perspective of who’s being asking to define “old.”
As a teacher, students I teach addressed me as ‘sir’, (which I don’t prefer, as it stands for ‘slave I remain’). Some other students (that I do not teach) mistakenly called me ‘uncle’ but none had ever called me ‘grandpa’.
Some friends of mine measure the ability to various physical activities, others noted cognitive benchmarks and some focused on “memory issues” as defining the onset of old.
Anyone can claim he/she is not old or insist that they are old.
People feel and define ‘old’ mostly because they face problems and loss of independence plus mobility.
Dr. Andrew Weil, author of “Healthy Aging,” recorded qualities related with “old” as being antique, outdated, dated, dried up, slight, passé, shriveled, utilized up, futile and shriveled, useless and wrinkled and many more of generalizations.
I have every intention of staying active and engaged at least into my 70s, 80s and I hope longer. Am I old yet? I say “no,” emphatically.
AZIZI Ahmad merupakan seorang pendidik kanan di Institut Perguruan Guru Kampus Bahasa Antarabangsa (IPGKBA), Kuala Lumpur. Beliau yang berkelulusan Sarjana Muda Sains (Brunel University, United Kingdom) dan Sarjana Pendidikan (UTM, Skudai) mempunyai pengalaman kerja selama lebih 30 tahun.