Well to be honest, people are people, we haven’t actually changed much in the last 2000 years, though the world around us has, enormously, and our perception of it has grown with it. But the fundamental thinking of people hasn’t. We still all get excited, angry, jealous, annoyed, frustrated, elated and so on, our human emotions and patterns of thinking leading up to those emotions hasn’t changed much. The best question to ask here is, what will the mind of the elderly person be occupied with compared with the minds of today and the past.
Okay you may find this hard to swallow but actually old people have the same minds they had when they were young, it’s just that they don’t consume them with as much garbage as they did when they were younger. They want to live a clear easy life filled preferably with positive things and creative ideas that nourish and feed their already present curiosity. The great thing about older people is that they don’t care what people think nor try to judge other people as much as they used to. Age is a leveller, and the old age mindset is full of that, in some cases too much, but more on that later.
Saying that, the question to ask is what will the future elderly mind look like. Well, if you are who you are today and your mind is still active, chances are you will think and feel in a very similar way in 50 years as you do now, possibly even better because you won’t be clogged up with expectations and deadlines. Life will be free, material possessions will be meaningless and the inner world of thought will be paramount. If you were a forward thinker before, you will be when you are old too. If you are someone who likes to blame everyone else when you are younger, you will continue to blame everyone else when you are older. You are who you are, no level of learning will change this. However, how you express it in the future may be different.
Now coming back to the ‘old age mindset’, it seems to me that there just are some people who from a very early age, decide that there are some brain patterns that must be stopped, and I mean some creative ones. The conscious decision to stop these patterns of thinking results in that part of the brain literally shrivelling up. Dr Rahul Jandial suggests that in fact if we want to live longer and healthier we have to identify these areas of the brain and make a conscious decision to re-ignite them, re-energise them by setting ourselves tasks that will awaken them. This means confronting firstly why you decided to shut it down and understanding that that (in most situations) is simply a ‘self propagated notion’, and holds no real substance. From that point on we must subject ourselves to activities that awaken it. These activities will be brain-gym type things that allow, slowly but surely to get it going again. He compares it to like going to the gym. Not many people enjoy it at the beginning, and have to push themselves through some tough times, make a huge effort and keep the effort going, and then slowly what used to be totally exhausting now becomes enjoyable and the overall impact of it on you physically lives with you a longer time.
The reason why it is good to have an active mind in old age is because it actually improves your health both physically and mentally, makes you live longer and allows for a more fulfilling life right through to the end.
Keeping our minds active in old age will probably be done through the help of digitalisation or virtual reality, or whatever comes after that. We are off to a great start already with the generations coming through now who are constantly seeking new experiences both online and in reality because the world before them is now so much bigger to what it was when our grandparents were young.
Coming back to the ultimate point however, we will all still think the same as an elderly person as we are as a young person, but so much wiser, less concerned with others opinion and totally ourselves!
Sounds good to me.