We are brought up in a society that is shaped by certain rules and well-drawn boundaries. These regulations are never abstract nor are they spontaneous. They are created by the confluence of nature, consensus, and what the majority perceives as common. In today’s era, people are trying their hardest to upturn the conventions set up by society. Therefore, it becomes imperative to ask the question of the limits of man. The age of man is often misconstrued by popular belief as being nothing more than a number. But is it so?
Celebrities endorse the quote, ‘Age is just a number’. You will find these words graffitied on walls. Your friend perhaps has this quote as their locked-screen wallpaper. But does anyone understand the true meaning of it? It is supposed to be merely a motivational saying. Age is just a number: you are not too old or too young to try something you want to. Is that so? Does this not sound bacchanal to you?
It is not so that every human breath depends on the matter of age. To gain a sense of perspective, we have to envelop ourselves into the faith that our milestones are different than others. We need not compete with others, believing the idea that we have to graduate at 22, get married at 28, die at 80. Our lives should never be considered a race. To oppose this idea, we bring forth the notion of age not mattering at all. This is a gross exaggeration. Living in a world where not the word of mouth but the typed word travels faster than light and is misinterpreted almost all the time according to the audience’s need, we need to craft the phrases a little intellectually.
People easily perceive the wrong idea, and, as always, try to fit it into the framework of procrastination and sloth. Instead of using the idea to motivate oneself, a sense of nihilism takes over, which is extremely counter-productive. The idea is further perpetuated to put things off for another time, because ‘age is just a number’. Though the intentions of the idea are noble, people misuse it to their advantage.
Age not being a big deal is not just a matter of an adventurous spirit breaking away set conventions. Had it been just that, the idea of such revelry would have satisfied every young soul. However, the stupidity of allowing age to not become a construct in people’s lives runs contrary to the natural aspect of our existence, a big chunk of it being biology.
Women are often told at the age of 35, ‘honey, your biological clock is ticking.’ Studies have proven that infertility and miscarriage become common after 35-40 years of age. The issue of late pregnancy also increases the chance of physical deformity of the child. Not just the issue of childbirth, but it is common knowledge that after the age of 30, your body begins to fail you. It is not a pessimistic approach but a realistic one. We, as humans, are fragile and our bodies are eroded with time.
Not just as an unaccepted idea of youthfulness but age is also misinterpreted as the depressing idea of aging.
Age as ‘just a number’ brings in a sense of disgust towards the word, disowning it as a concept. Ignoring the idea of age is problematic because age is then reduced to an ugly abstraction of decay and erosion. Instead of being perceived as experience, memories, learning, wisdom, etc. it is diminished to the category of ‘just a number’.
The notion of age should be accepted in all its ugliness and all its glory. With age, we earn our wrinkles, we receive grey hairs, our wisdom shines, and our smiles become profound. The age might hide failure or success. The dichotomy does not matter as long as you are proud of your age. Hiding away age as a blot on your existence is a shameful act that belittles not just your experiences but scoffs at the coming generation and gives them a wrongful warning, which scares them from growing older.
The defiance of age-restricted activities sounds ‘cool’ and gives off the vibe of a rebel. However, the matter suits only the metaphor and none the reality. Why do we stick up to a false sense of pretense? We overlook how the reluctance of the acceptance of age as something more than a number stands in our way of progress as a human being. It not just counters the argument of age as a ripening of the mind and soul but also digs a deeper grave for the productivity of today’s youth.
Getting old is not a disease but a part of life. Age is not just a number. It is a calendar, an old album, which tells you how far you have come, and how far you still have to go.