“I have a friend who is a free thinker. He is 65 years old and dating a girl who is 18 and still in high school. They have nothing in common except that they are both seniors!”
Back in late 2019, I went to see Arlo Guthrie in concert up in Stuart, Florida, which is about 30 minutes north of where I live in North Palm Beach. Arlo was a headliner at the 1969 music festival, Woodstock, so his career spans well over five decades. Long story short, the audience that night was primarily white-haired seniors. I assume many of those seniors were, once upon a time, hippies like me (and Arlo). But that night, those old hippies seemed to have forgotten they were hippies. They seemed to have conformed. They were straightlaced. Stiff. Short-haired. Some even seemed sad. Instead of seeing me (long hair, sideburns, and headband) as a blast from the past here in the present moment, they seemed to look at me like I was a hippie freak—an ironic throwback of how hippies were perceived way back in the day.
I am not sure why these old souls had come to see Arlo. Perhaps they were there trying to relive the past, hoping for a few moments of joy in the present. It seems to me, those old hippies died a long time ago, but they have yet to be buried. Instead of peace and brotherly love, they seemed to have fallen into the trap of living a conservative life, replete with conservative thinking that keeps them bound to conformity and the material world. Please note, I am not judging or defining these folks, I am merely relaying what I felt at that concert in the presence of these old souls.
Let me point out something. While I am a senior, I do not associate with being a senior. I do not look like, think like, or act like a typical senior. In fact, I think and act more like a high school senior than a senior citizen! No, I am not bragging. No, I am not in denial. No, I am not running from reality. Instead, I am living my life with something I call “Young Thinkin’.” There is nothing wrong with being my biological age. It is what it is. What I avoid is falling into the trap of “thinking I am old.” Old thinking is an epidemic in America, and it degenerates those who indulge in it. I may be 67 at the time of this writing, but I look and think like I am 47, feel like I am 37, and act like I am 27! You are as old as you THINK.
Here’s how it works. You get a pain in your knee when you stand up and instantly think, “Oh boy. You can tell I am getting old!” Your neck is tight when you wake up in the morning and you think to yourself (or profess to your mate), “Looks like here is another sign I am getting old!” Associating age with a degenerative state is not a good association to make. It is all a state of mind. Oh sure, as we naturally age, we do gradually wear down, but not as fast as society seems to believe—especially if you are taking care of yourself by eating properly, exercising, sunbathing, and enjoying life.
What you think and believe determines most of your life, so be careful with every thought! You also have subconscious thoughts that were installed in you as a small child that may or may not be assisting you in life. A simple observation of one’s life can quickly reveal how a person thinks and believes. Successful people have a certain way of thinking and it shows in their life. If you want to know how a person thinks and believes, just notice how they look, who they hang out with, what they do, where they live, their degree of success, and their level of peace. Your thoughts and beliefs are always reflected in your life. Don’t like what you see, change your mind. Think young to stay young!
I always like the story about a movie star and filmmaker Clint Eastwood, who seems to keep going and going and going. When a friend asked him how he stays young, active, and is still a movie star and award-winning director, even though he is past 85 years of age, Clint looks at him for a few seconds, tilts his head slightly, and replies, “I don’t let the old man in.”
Peace and love