Hanging out with people in their late 30s and 40s, a common conversation topic that comes up is the account of their ageing and the constant grunting about how they are older than they seem or how the fruits of youth are beyond their reach. It's interesting to see the decline people perceive in themselves while it's also sad to see it's an inevitable part of life to age. No one in their right mind thinks about ageing as something that happens to them when they're younger, which in essence is the folly of youth. But this is a choice as well, to accept one's ageing with grace and not finding ways to compare and complain shows maturity and also avoids the pitfalls of vanity. Sure, youth is all hyped up with all the popular media around us serenading us with images of nubile bodies or hunks of meat but is that really a true representation of the world around us?
Age segregation serves the interests of capitalism: with children shielded in schools and the old people isolated in their own communities, a wedge is driven deep into all the people in-between in their prime working years. These are the consumers, paying for services throughout their lives. Keeping this working group away from children or ageing people keeps them in ripe productivity until they can be discarded and the next group takes over. The atomization of the family unit contributes to this further, as the irrelevance of the being old reflects back into our faces day-after-day, along with the cognitive and physical decline that are inevitable with every passing year.
Ageing reminds us that we're all replaceable which goes against the conditioning that everyone is special and has an unique place in this world. this paired with the idealistic images and stories we're surrounded with of “perfect” humans that we have a short while to live up to, even as our faculties slowly fade into oblivion. Everyone is isolated in this suffering where individual pleasure is placed at a premium while everything else is irrelevant. Instead of complaining of the missed opportunities and losing abilities, it perhaps worthwhile to twist the narrative around: to be alive is to suffer and to die is to cherish. Party at graveyards for the dead have gone and cry by the maternity wards for the pain we choose to bring in.