21/09/10 Somehow these words may come back to haunt me!
Apparently the experiment was drawn up over thirty years ago by Harvard Professor Ellen Langer. It had dramatic effects then and in this series the participants made real progress in living a more active life. Walking, balance, memory etc improved and medical checks before and after the event by a top Professor confirmed that the improvements were not just wishful thinking. In the final program the celebrities were visited a month after the experiment and they were still leading more actives lives.
I know a number of people found this series both challenging and encouraging, in fact one of the celebrities, the actress Sylvia Symns used her new found energy to support a charity working with the Elderly and also to go and marshal her MP to raise awareness.
The experiment was seen to be a great success. Its message was simple, keep active and continue doing what you used to do in order to stay fit and get the most out of life. It obviously could not restore every faculty and for some people it would be impossible to return to the things of the past. However, the concept presented an almighty kick up the behind to those who have just given up pushing themselves. It is something that should challenge and motivate us all whatever our age.
Growing old is not viewed with much enthusiasm in the West and I think it’s fair comment that the UK doesn’t do aging very well. The privilege of retirement and getting off the treadmill is taken too seriously by a majority of people. What’s that phrase “ I am getting too old for this”, this heralds the age of grinding to a halt. Now it’s unfair of me to sound critical as I have not quite reached that stage, but I think the idea of ‘getting too old’ is not challenged enough.
In the bible a number of elderly characters were just getting started when some people today are think of booking into the rest home. Though Simeon in Luke’s Gospel does appear to down tools when he sees Jesus.
Our ability to push ourselves may vary according to character and desire. Taking up our cross is an invitation from Christ to pursue that which we find difficult or unappealing Some of the tasks of discipleship are not easy ventures. We may not always enjoy moral support for our efforts; people may even urge us to take life easier. But God sometimes calls us to push ourselves in order to serve and grow his kingdom. In order to succeed you may have to keep active and continue doing what you used to do in order to stay fit and get the most out of life. In other words keep up the good work, it’s good for you.
You know somehow these words may come back to haunt me