Feb 1, 2011

Quotes for the day: Cicero's Essay on Aging (104-42 B.C.)

The Young Cicero Reading, 1464 fresco, now at ...Image via WikipediaJust in case you did not know, great men and woman have been discussing the virtues and faults of aging for a very long time. Here are two quotes from Marcus Tullius Cicero (104-43 B.C.).  


"Great deeds are not done by strength or speed or physique: They are the products of thought, and character, and judgment and far from diminishing, such qualities actually increase with age." The lust of youth is not merely overrated but the seat of much outrage and indecent behavior. "When its campaigns of sex, ambition, rivalry, quarrelling, and all other passions are ended, the human spirit returns to live within itself—and is well off." He added: "The satisfactions of the mind are greater than all the rest." quote from Cicero from Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive!  in a book review in the Wall Street Journal.


It is true that I enjoy conversation, and for this reason I take pleasure even in banquets that begin early, and not just when the company are men of my own age (not many of them are left now!) but also with people of your age...and I am very grateful to old age for having increased my appetite for conversation and taken away my interest in food and drink. And if there are those who still find the latter enjoyable ... I fail to see that in pleasures of this sort old age is entirely without enjoyment.  quote from Cicero's Essays on Learning and the Morris institute of Human Wisdom


I am a romantic so I love the words of philosophers.  Cicero only lived 41 years so his old age after a very few years by our standards.   However, the emotional conditions of aging remains the same.  I only wish that old age would take away "my appetite for food and drink".  I still love a good bowl of pasta and a hearty glass of wine. On the up side, I love conversation...even when it is only a one sided "blogging" conversation.  Who knew that the condition called aging today is not much different than it was over 2000 years ago.


Be well and have a great day.


b

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