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The great privilege of getting older

Most people complain about getting older.

I, on the other hand, am so pleased to finally be as old as I have always felt inside.

I equate age with wisdom--the fires of youth are banked and no longer flare up with passionate emotion; the mind can express itself more freely as it is not so encumbered with the fear of what others think.

I always loved old people the best: my two grandmas, Moss and Doyel; Mr. Jewell, who ran the rock and mineral shop in Horse Cave; Mrs. Weixelbraun, our German-speaking landlady in Louisville.

I consider it a great privilege to get old, as I can benefit from my many mistakes, unfounded anxieties about bad things that never happened, misunderstandings of how to assess character in others, and survival of experiences that seemed life-threatening but did not kill me.

I also consider it a privilege that I can so easily share my hard-won wisdom with others by teaching and writing. Of all the jobs I've held and skills I've developed, I still love teachin…

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