Book Review

Character, Not Age

January 22, 2020

Advice from Cicero on how to grow old gracefully

Growing old is an inevitability. But how you live out your senior years is entirely up to you. So make the most of it, Roman statesman Marcus Tullius Cicero advised in his Jesus-era self-help volume, "How to Grow Old."

There are many who grow old without complaint. Those who are good-tempered in youth and middle age will take that with them into their senior years. And those who are irritable now will continue to be so into their advanced years.

Sure there are things that can best be done in youth, like football or skiing. But few expects old people to do these things anyway, so why worry about it?

Besides, there are plenty of other things an older, seasoned mind is best at -- especially for those who have cultivated a wise and decent way of living leading up to old age. And those who exercise on the regular can expect at least some of the vigor of their youth into their sunset years.

“Old people maintain a sound mind as long as they remain eager to learn and apply themselves,” Circero wrote. We think of 'dotage' as a symptom of old age, but really, it is just the characteristic of people "who have allowed themselves to become drowsy, sluggish, and inert," he wrote.

“And I have certainly never heard of an old man who forgot where he hid his money. Old people remember what interests them.”

More Quotes From The Book Here...