What is considered young and old? Is it really measured in years, or the heart and spirit? Would you kick your 18-year-old child out of your home simply because you assume he/she is ready to leave the nest? Do you expect a 23 year to be a recent college graduate just getting their life on track? Do you expect someone who is 40 to have a mid-life crisis and someone who is 70 to walk around with a cane and a face full of wrinkles? What is considered young and old? Is it really measured in years, or the heart and spirit? Would you kick your 18-year-old child out of your home simply because you assume he/she is ready to leave the nest? Do you expect a 23 year to be a recent college graduate just getting their life on track? Do you expect someone who is 40 to have a mid-life crisis and someone who is 70 to walk around with a cane and a face full of wrinkles?
A person’s age supposedly determines life experience, sexual compatibility, mindset, health and physical development, and maturity level (or lack thereof). Age is used as a tool to classify, restrict, categorize, and even discriminate against others. From a legal standpoint, age helps to determine who can drink alcohol, drive, rent a car, get discounts, need supervision, and whether a person can take on adult responsibilities.
There is no definite method to pinpoint a person’s background based on the number of years that they existed. You can get an idea of that person’s stage in life, but that varies greatly. Plenty of immature adults around just as much as there are responsible younger people. There are tons of 50-year-olds who are more physically fit than people half their age. Most people can agree that celebrities Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez, and Lisa Raye who are all in their 40’s can blow women half their age out of the water!
Age from a legal and technical aspect helps society determine who can do what based on a very broad scale. However, this varies based on culture and society. For example, in some states the legal age to drink is 21, but in other states it is 18. If you are under 25 years of age, you cannot rent a car without paying a surcharge (depending on your area). A teenager can be tried as an adult if the crime committed was serious enough. It is illegal for a person over the age of 18 to be sexually involved with a minor (anyone under 18), because a minor usually is not mature enough to handle someone who supposedly has more life experience than them. In contrast, some may see a 30-year-old man dating a 16-year-old girl and would not blink twice.
Did you know in other cultures, when a girl gets her period, (usually around 10-12 years old), she is considered a woman, which means she is legally old enough to get married and have children. In the United States, girls get their periods around that same age, but they are still considered too young to get married and have kids!
On a more universal aspect, age is a way to measure milestones in a person’s life. According to Jewish law, when Jewish children reach 12 or 13 years of age, they become responsible for their actions, and become a Bar (boy) or Bat (girl) Mitzvah. In Latin cultures, a Quinceaera is the celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday as it marks the transition from childhood to adulthood.
In the United States, a “sweet sixteen” is used to celebrate coming of age. The 18th birthday comes with many responsibilities, such as being allowed to vote in local, state and national elections. This also represents a transition from high school to college or full time work.
You are only as old as you feel. Most women (and men) faint at the mere thought of getting older, because people equate getting older with unattractive, losing vitality, crow’s feet and wrinkles galore. Looking old and being old are two completely different things. Take care of yourself while you are young so youcan age gracefully.
Maintaining a youthful spirit and a child-like curiosity will keep the mind young. Wouldn’t it warm your heart to see a 45-year-old mother of three swinging from the monkey bars on the playground with her children, enjoying life and being happy? So, to answer the question, age is in fact just a number. But it is other things too. It measures our experience, wisdom, and knowledge. It measures the time we have on earth to which every moment could be used to make a difference in the world. It is a blessing to be able to see another birthday and get older. But your real age is determined by how well you keep yourself up and how you feel on the inside. Don’t let someone tell you that you are too young or too old to do anything. Ask yourself, how old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain
“It is not the years in your life, but the life in your years that counts.” Adlai Stevenson