Wednesday, June 28, 2006

New, yes
Improved? We'll see

You've read it a million times in ads. First the product comes out and is touted as new. As the hooplah settles, it comes out again as new and improved. This continues on until something comes along that is "better" and that is touted as "new"...and we all just have to have it. But, is new better? For that matter, is improved better? Seems to me that sometimes older is wine (and Sharon, my daughters mother in law).

Old is almost a dirty word in our society. We often can't even say it and substitue words like obsolete or passe' or yesterday's or out- dated. We can't say it because in our minds old means useless, broken and...worst of all...closer to death.

The gadgets we buy are outdated by the time we open the box. We feel ashamed and uncomfortable if we find outselves in a crowd and we are not dressed in the latest style or fad. We confuse our needs with our wants to have the latest of anything...whether we have any use for it or not. ("No one uses those any more." Why not, they work fine?). Planned obsolescence, that's what it all is, and we do it with one another. Who, after all, wants to get old?

Who wants stiff achy joints and an ass that sags? Well, not a lot of people I know. On the other hand, I rarely have met an older individual (among well adjusted older individuals) who would want to be younger again. Sure, they would take back their younger bodies if that were possible to do, but they would not wish to relive the learning processes they have gone through to attain the life experience they now treasure.

Older folks tend to have fewer needs (other than medical) and a whole lot fewer wants than when they were younger. They also are less materialistic and only concerned with taking care of their true needs (food, water, shelter, etc.). In addition, they generally have gotten their egos back in the cage, and think more of other people than themselves. That is why, throughout the ages and up until modern times, there have been circles of elders. That is why older age is the time for give back to the universe. That is why many societies (other than our's) venerate the aged and keep grandma and grandpa in their homes where three generations can live together and nurture one another.

Interestingly, because the elder are treated better in those "old fashioned" socieities, growing old is not as feared as it is in our society where we warehouse our aged and keep them out of sight (and, often, out of mind). It is a pity that so many of our children do not grow up exposed to the wisdom and lessons of their grandparents.

Enough, I made my point, at least in my mind. Everything, except arteries, gets better with age. Think about it, have you ever seen a new and improved sunset?

Come to think about it, the design of the kayak has barely changed in 7000 years.

Paddle safe.



derrick said...

Are you feeling old, neglected or do you just want a new kayak? ;)

Silbs said...

all of the above. ds

leslie said...

Piaget would be proud of you.