Reflections on “The End of Old Age”
Were I to teach a course on brain health, aging, or brain fitness, I definitely would include Marc E. Agronin’s engaging, thought-provoking, and well-written recent (2018) book The End of Old Age: Living a Longer, More Purposeful Life.He asks three fundamental questions – Why age? (to grow in wisdom). Why survive? (to realize a purpose). Why thrive? (to create something new.) He argues persuasively that aging can and should be seen not as a disease but as a life enhancing opportunity for developing strengths of wisdom, purpose, and creativity. His arguments are well supported both by germane case studies and by detailed chapter end notes. The author makes wonderful and creative use of metaphor and clever turns of phrase, provides useful chapter summaries and even gives the reader an action plan for redefining and “re-aging.” This book definitely deserves careful reading and heeding by readers interested in a balanced, refreshing positive perspective about aging. Below are some resources I plan to further explore gleaned from the book.
Resources drawn from reading Agronin’s provocative book:
- Marc Agronin Web site:
- Audrey de Grey’s Research to End Aging.
- Margaret Morganroth Gulette: On Ending Ageism
- Becca Levy’s Stereotype Embodiment Research
- Ellen Langer’s Power Of Possibility.
- MIDUS: University of Wisconsin Longitudinal Study of How Americans Age
- Paul Baltes’ Model of Wisdom
- Carol Ryff’s research on positive aging
- Ezekiel Emmanuel: “Why I Hope to Die at 75.“
- Barbera Myerhoff’s Number Our Days
Here are some of my earlier blog pieces about the aging process:
- Ten Brain-enriching Resources
- Ruminations about Memory Loss
- Brain Fitness Software: Brain-boosting or Bloated Claims?
- Obsessing about Forgetting:
- Promising Research or Wishful Thinking?
- Sharpening My brain at the Summit:
- Brain Fitness Training: Fact and Fiction
- Pieces of the Puzzle:
- Retraining My Old Brain
- Reflections on the Myth of Multi-tasking
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