Aging as Process

Aging brings with it a host of changes: physiological, mental and social. If we advocate the popular belief that our minds are separate from our bodies, this process of change can be objectively assessed as a story of decline originating in either sphere. Seen this way, the health of our body limits what we can accomplish in later life by dictating what we are physically able to do; similarly, declining mental health, as a symptom of aging, can bar us from making a meaningful contribution.


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By Shae Hadden

Expectations are basic to who we are. From the time we are born, we live in a relationship with the future based on our experience of the past and the interpretations of reality that we learn from our culture and history. We learn from our parents to live up to our expectations. We organize our actions based on them and, more often than not, they become self-fulfilling. When something unexpected occurs, we feel fortunate if it is good and upset if it is bad. Our moods are always correlated to our expectations. And as we grow older, most of us expect to ‘slow down’, experience declining health, need to change our lifestyle and perhaps to give up many of the things we’ve enjoyed most in our lives. The general expectation of old age is one of decline.

I were to have a child (a hypothetical choice at this point in my life,
as I am long past my child-bearing years), I would not be able to bring
them up without teaching them what to expect in the future. For from
the first time they cry and I respond, I would begin a pattern of
stimulus-and-response behavior that would create an expectation. If I
can perceive that my child is hungry, I would feed them: wet, I would
change them. In need

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