Monday, August 27, 2018

Transitions of Age

I have always very much liked old folk and taken great pleasure in treating them. Doubtless this is because I have felt that it is with them, with the drawing near of death and the new scale of values that this gives, that true values are sifted out, the enduring ones. If living means choosing...then choosing becomes the supreme vocation of old age, when life has become privation and earthly treasures have lost their glitter.

Then it is that a purely technical and scientific medical care, less and less effective, gives way to an ever more pressing care of the person...If medicine has no other hope to offer than a limited and temporary renewal of a vanishing ability then it becomes most disillusioning…

To cling to the past, to seek most doggedly to prolong one’s time of action means precisely this: living a useless old age…

Our task is to help men right to the end, to help them to grow up, and to help them to grow old. The new transition means to face, rather than avoid, this question of the true meaning of life.

                                                                                      -Paul Tournier, The Seasons of Life

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