In an article in the Health section in the New York Times, the author argues that we misconceive what it is like to be old. He starts off the lede with a an old woman who has drawn the shades because, he presumes, that she wants nothing to stop her from her grieving. She lost her husband of 73 years of marriage, and the doctor presumes that she is grieving when she is overjoyed because her marriage was a verbally abusive one.
The author points out that our perception of old age is sometimes entirely off. We like to think of nursing homes as dark, dreary places where the smell of soap and death linger in the air, but these homes provide a safe haven where new relationships bloom. Our misconception is called the psychologist’s fallacy where we think we know what someone else is experiencing.
“…..in which we view our own age as the most normal of times, the way all life should be. At 18 the 50-year-olds may seem ancient, but at 50 we are apt to say the same about the 80-year-olds.”
Becoming old isn’t the end, as the author and I would like to argue. My friend even told me she didn’t want to live past the age of thirty because there was nothing left after that. Whether she was joking or not, it shows that our misconceived view of old age is part of our culture. There are face lifts, creams and hair dyes to mask the true age, but it’s a part of life so why do we try to stop it so much? Other cultures believe that the eldest is the wisest and makes all the decisions, and I think it’s so bizarre how our culture acts in reference to old age.