Think you’ll be forever young?
I sure used to.
When I was a teen, I thought twenty was old and I’d never reach that age. When I was twenty, I thought thirty was old. When I was . . . .
Cutting straight to the moral of the story—Young is relative. Young/Youth is also a prized possession you cannot keep.
When you’re young, you feel invincible and you generally aren’t thinking about the generation behind you that is nipping at your heels or clamoring for your job or pining for your spouse.
Yeah, I said it. This is reality. A Fact of Life
Old. Will. Happen.
You were born. You will age. You will die. Historically, this is life’s formula. You cannot contest it.
Each generation has had to accept the growing up and growing old process.
However painful it may be to lose your outward beauty, charm, and perfect skin. Whatever new products, new advances in plastic surgeries, new vitamins, we will still age inside and out.
Funny how that works.
Generation after Generation
Did you know the generation you were born into has defined you? Or rather, advertisers, demographics, and technology have defined you. You were labeled the moment you were born and that will carry with you until your body gives in to Adam’s curse.
If you don’t know your generation’s moniker, take a look at this chart:
THE SILENT GENERATION (born 1924-1945) got their name from their cautious and withdrawn natures, even in their youth,
BUILDERS: 1920-1945 The Great Depression and World War II produced a generation with a strong work ethic, financial conservatism and respect for authority.
BABY BOOMERS: 1946-1964 Born in an era of financial prosperity. Vocal on social issues. Liberal in outlook. (78 million Americans were born between 1946 and 1964)
GENERATION JONES: approximately 1954 to 1965, Includes the first wave of Generation X.
GENERATION X: 1965-1979 Cynical about authority. Insecure about financial future.
GENERATION Y: 1980-1994 Labeled as flighty and transient. The “me now” generation. This is the start of the Millennials, which ends about 2000.
GENERATION Z: 1995-2009 Tech-savvy, creative, confident. Strong work ethic – the result of more mature parents and the economic downturn.
GENERATION ALPHA: Babies born in the 15 years from 2010.
Soooooo, that’s A LOT of people in different generations. A lot of people aging. Together. This is why health care is a big deal. People need care.
Sooooo? So, health is not an entitlement. People (and you’re a people) contract cancer, Ebola, brain tumors, Lyme disease, Meningitis, etc. We are clumsy; we have accidents. We are born with stuff we never wanted: limb deformities, scoliosis, cleft palates, heart defects, too many genes, not enough genes, too many broken genes, grandma’s arthritis, grandpa’s mental illness, Uncle Arthur’s MS.
Soooo, learning about Alzheimer’s while you are still young is a gift you can give to yourself and to the generation that gave to you. Remember, the older initially care for the younger and then at some arbitrary point, the young and healthy then care for the old and ill.*
I promised five reasons why you need to learn about Alzheimer’s while you are young.
Here they are:
1. Because you were born. And if you can read this, you have intellect. Educate yourself. It’s a gift.
2. Because you did not conceive yourself. You have a genealogy. Someone somewhere in your family has or had Alzheimer’s or what we used to call senility. The statistics are telling. AD has a genetic link.
3. Because you are not the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. You have a brain. Your brain may succumb to Alzheimer’s. Even while you are yet young.
4.Because you are just like Ponce de León. You have not discovered the Fountain of Youth. Every second you are aging. And a forever healthy brain is not a given.
5. Because my generation did not discover the Fountain of Youth. We are aging. Someone will need to care for the Boomers and the Generation Joneses and then Generation X. And down the line.
I’ve tried to paint a picture of our finite timelines. Your finite timeline. Call it the circle of life if you want. Though your soul will go on, this body that shells YOU will not.
Kind of hard to swallow, isn’t it?
Do yourself a favor because your turn may be next: Educate yourself. Befriend an elderly person. Grow wise. Find the cure for Alzheimer’s. Don’t lose your mind. Teach the next generation.
Can you think of more reasons? Please share.
*Illness in the aged is not a given. It’s also not not a given.
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