Essay about How Old Age Should Be Experienced

Essay about How Old Age Should Be Experienced

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In Cicero’s epistolary, On Old Age, the characteristics of old age are described and explained in order to provide an idea on how old age should be experienced. The key ideas presented by Cicero in On Old Age is that the elderly should focus on their present abilities rather than their past ones, and that age does not limit an individuals engagement with life as the elderly retain the capability to be socially and intellectually active. However, not all of Cicero’s ideas presented in On Old Age are static, evolving over time as demonstrated by Mr. Loui, an elderly individual who has varying views on old age as compared to Cicero. From Cicero’s time and the present day, there were continuities in the perception of old age as demonstrated by the ideas that age weakens the body and deprives one of physical pleasures. In addition, there were also considerable differences, validated by differing views in the societal involvement of the elderly and the outlook on death.
In Cicero’s On Old Age, a notable characteristic of the elderly is their withdrawal from public affairs. However, Cicero states that the elderly serves the community in a different method than when they were younger. To support this notion, the elderly are more focused around continued mental refinement through their focus on learning and philosophical reflection, inevitably benefitting the society through new ideas (Cicero). With regards to modern society, Mr. Loui states that the elderly today are more focused on entertaining themselves than pursuing further learning and personal refinement. Furthermore, Mr. Loui believes that it is the duty of young men to think and create new ideas for the betterment of all society, as the elderly have already performed the duties...

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...e community through learning and philosophy is discontinued as Mr. Loui stated that in modern society, the elderly have less motivation to participate in society as they have already performed their required duties. The notion that age leads to the deterioration of strength but can be slowed down through healthy behavior is still present in modern society as most elderly people pursue healthy lifestyles. In addition, the idea that the elderly find little pleasure in gluttonous behavior and are less sexually active is upheld in modern society through Mr. Loui’s distaste towards excess consumption, except in rare cases, and the idea that sexual desire is a characteristic of the youth. Cicero’s idea that the proximity of death should be ignored is discontinued in modern society as ignoring death will only lead to financial burden on the family and irresponsible behavior.

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