(In Ireland, OAP is an Old Age Pensioner or, as Berna, our Irish Correspondent explains, more politely, it’s an Over Age Person.)
Anyway, this is an urgent call to all my OAP friends and acquaintances! Be sure ASAP to read Aging’s Misunderstood Virtues in the series, The New Old Age, in the New York Times. I missed it when it appeared in the daily paper, but I’ve caught up with it in time: here at last! is a Declaration of Independence by and for old people, of whom I am proud to be one.
The clarion is sounded by Lars Torstam, a Swedish sociologist: “We develop and change; we mature. …It’s a process that goes on all our lives, and it doesn’t ever end. The mistake we make in middle age is thinking that good aging means continuing to be the way we were at 50. Maybe it’s not…
“People tell us they are different people at 80,” Dr. Tornstam explained. “They have new interests, and they have left some things behind.”
He calls his theory gerotranscendance, and a lot of scientists find it interesting, and some are intensely skeptical, but I’m running the flag up the flagpole! I can’t do it justice here; if you are an OAP and have strong feelings about how you are supposed to be and how you want to be, and who you WILL be, and let the world go hang — read this story!
And if you’re young or middle-aged, and want to stake out your freedom early— read this story!
I guess what I’m saying is: Everybody, READ THIS STORY. And, in the spirit of gerotranscendance, if you don’t want to, don’t. (But I hope you do.)