Donald Horne on getting old

January 2, 2011 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

Donald Horne was very very cool.
In a piece in an early Griffith Review on “Making Perfect Bodies“, he wrote, near the end of his essay entitled Mind, Body and Age

For those lucky enough to have a reasonably well-packed and curious mind and the determination to use it, age can give more perspectives from which to consider changed circumstances. But perhaps only if you’ve had some practice at it in your earlier life – only if, as things have come up, you’ve sometimes considered whether they should alter what you think. That’s part of what can be meant by keeping your mind young. Keeping up with what’s going on doesn’t necessarily mean tagging after the latest, although it may mean knowing about it, and it doesn’t mean just picking up a few vogue words. Going on like that can keep you old, however young you are. I like to think that what has helped keep me, in certain ways, “young” has been a distaste for vogue words. I have always tried to translate them into my own language in a kind of test of what they are “saying” (sometimes this is remarkably little). If you’re old, you need enough body parts left working to sustain at least fits of mental, even creative, energy and you need to have retained at least most of your memory, and to have acquired the patience to go around hunting for bits of it that may hide themselves from you.

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Entry filed under: ageing, Memory.

Unrelated facts don’t equal knowledge, or intelligence, or wisdom Social Cognition

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