Older Bodies, Young Souls?

I was watching an episode of Oprah’s show, “Super Soul Sundays” recently, when she had Dr. Christiane Northrup as a guest. Dr. Northrup is a best-selling author and thought leader in the field of women’s health and wellness. She said something to Oprah that really got me thinking,” Getting older is inevitable, aging is optional.” That resonated in my brain like any good thought-provoking phrase should. The Baby Boom generation, of which I’m a card-carrying member, could benefit tremendously from meditating on that phrase.
At sixty-five, I often find myself in groups where people of digital vintage are in the majority. Often I observe a manner of thought and behavior that is the antithesis of Dr. Northrup’s quote. Dr. Northrup’s quote reminds me of another mind set voiced by Mother Angelica, founder of EWTN, the Catholic Television Network. Mother Angelica believed that the soul never ages. Though our bodies react to the wear and tear suffered through years, our souls are as fresh at eighty as the day God gave them to us. Society tries its best to force upon us a model of thinking and behavior that telegraphs to the world that we are ancient in mind, body and soul. Unfortunately, most of us buy into this line of thought.
For the last four years, I’ve had the joy of spending a good amount of time with my four-year old granddaughter. I’ll confess up front that it’s next to impossible for me to render an unbiased opinion of her social and mental development. As with any grandchild, she’s the smartest child God has ever shared with us ordinary earth dwellers. In all seriousness though, I find myself connecting with her in ways that remind me of the times I used to play with unfettered joy as a child. Whenever I’m with her, I freely cast aside all thought of my age, and simply enjoy the moment. She assigns no importance to my age either. To her, I’m just papa, we are just having fun. I even find myself learning things from her. One thing I learned early on is that she seems to have an intuitive ability to master technology without a blink. She mastered my Kindle at three years of age. I left her with it once and to my shock and amazement, she ordered a movie from Amazon. I thought it was an accident, but my wife convinced me it wasn’t.
One great way to keep your soul working at its age is to spend time with younger folk. Or, simply don’t let your older body convince your soul that it’s old, too.

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