I know I've been writing a lot about aging... this is the last one for now!

A lot of us a repulsed by the idea of getting old. Incontinence, disinhibition (eg. socially inappropriate behaviour), immobility. Children don't have great bladder control, they do and say inappropriate things, and young babies aren't exactly mobile. Aging is like reverting to childhood, with limited memory, reasoning, abstract thinking.

Why do we find the same qualities so adorable in children and so devasting in elderly people? Why do we willingly look after babies, no matter how messy and naughty they are, but find it difficult to do the same for elderly relatives?

There are differences though. To have had that independance once, to have had that mental capacity, that ability to interact meaningfully with friends and family... to lose what you once had is quite different. Besides, babies grow out of it; to see children gradually attain physical, cognitive and social growth is one of the greatest pleasures of being a parent.

There was a time when I woke up early to see sunrise. I was shocked by how glaring and bright it was compared to the many sunsets I've seen. Mum commented that birth and death is similar. Indeed, babies enter into the world crying with all the might they can muster, and many elderly people slowly and quietly slip away.



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