The terms used to denote aging include old, elderly, and aged. These terms usually find different applications in diverse social settings. The age of senior members of the society can be distinguished into two (Regmi 30). First, we have the group of those elderly members of the society who portray the ideal physical distinctiveness of old age and who can continue working. Secondly, there are those who are unable to carry out any tasks and including those eligible for homemaker services.
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Policies concerning the aged vary from one country to another. For example in Nepal, the retirement age for an individual is 60 for government employees and 63 for university employees. In different communities, age determines a person’s qualification for special responsibilities. For instance in Nepal, when a man attains more than 50 years of age, he is entitled to some powers, such as for executive responsibilities of the land resource and agrarian wealth of the family, having dominion over the continuation of laborers as well as tenants. This authority is attributed to the authoritative role of the father and the grandfather in the presidency of the emotional and economical demands of their generation group (31).
How socio-cultural aspect of a community influence aging
The old, as well as the young, detest features associated with aging. These symptoms include wrinkling, short-sightedness, hearing impairment, graying, and baldness. This attitude towards aging was displayed in an interview with senior men. In their response, they were concerned with their impression and other people’s opinions about them. They seemed more verbal about their body evaluation and self-impression than their female counterparts.
In addition, they were more likely to bitterly dwell on their physical handicaps resulting from old age. Essentially, they were nostalgic about their memorable agility during their youth. The waning of the vibrancy and beauty associated with youth is usually accompanied with pain and sadness (Delaney 205).
One characteristic associated with aging is the confusion manifested in the utility of addressing the terminology (Sokolovsky 46). For instance, the use of lung (uncle) or ui (grandfather) regarding a senior in Thai was determined by the estimation of the man’s age by the addressor. Contextually, ui denotes a member of senior generational class who is a retiree and portrays symptoms of old age. Despite the respect attached to such terms of address, a majority of the seniors are of the opinion that they rob the addressee of the authority associated with adulthood. This was supported with the dissatisfaction expressed in switching from the term pa (dad) or mae (mum) to ui by the majority of the informants.
Therefore, presumptuous reference of these terms usually triggered embarrassment on both the addressee and the addresser. This has made the younger person to approach the matter of address with caution to avoid causing embarrassment to self and others. Changes in power status associated with growth cycle within a family claims the responsibility of the tension connected with the transformation to another age class, and the subsequent term of address (206).
According to Thai parents, grandparents usually interfere with the societal interactions and punishment of the minor. This situation leads parents to develop the notion that the grandparents incline their affection towards their grandchildren. Often, grandparents don’t support the penalty imposed on the grandchildren, on the account of disrespect or attrition of the individual command. On the other hand this conflict of authority is perceived by the younger members as overreaching authority and hindrance by the seniors (207).
Further, in regard to family secrets and correspondence within the family, the younger members were of the notion that seniors are indiscrete about discussing family secret issues with foreigners. These tendencies often cause the young adults a great deal of embarrassment amongst their age mates (209).
How Biological and psychological factors contributes to ageing process
In an interview between Veronica and Dr. Chopra, I was able to learn how ancient mind/body philosophies integrate with the contemporary anti aging studies to proof that the symptoms of aging are greatly avoidable. The deduction I made from the interview was that an individual’s awareness and perception about aging processes in turn determines how he/she ages. This was evidence in Chopra response to Veronica’s queries explained in the proceeding paragraphs (Chopra Ans.1):
In the interview Chopra began by refuting the myth that aging is fatal phenomenon which eventually leads to ones death. The misconception that ageing is irreversible is invalidated by innate mechanism which allows for reversal of the ageing processes. Age reversal can be initiated by various changes in lifestyle including; making dietary incorporation of antioxidants, elimination of body toxins, physical work outs, meditation, and yoga alongside breathing techniques (Ans. 1).
He further argues that personal manner of thoughts, behavior, and diet, affects own life by age 30 – 50. Majority of the people believe that ageing is universal, which is not the case since some organisms do not age. Further, the informant refutes the belief that aging is painful, because it is a well proven fact that pain is an element of disease which is avoidable. He advocates for a change of their notion of aging for them to enjoy the benefit accompanying it, accounted for by the available scientific evidence. These benefits are; change in the perception of ageing which will make them embrace aging process and grow wiser, to attain improved ingenuity, and to become the facilitator for ingenuity and prosperity. Essentially, perceptional change will be accompanied by a change of personal reality since it is an attribute of perception.
According to Chopra (Ans. 4), people’s bodies are a reflection of their system of beliefs and experiences which have their respective biological attributes. For instance, feeling of anxiety is associated with production of cortisone and adrenaline; feeling of tranquility with valium; and that of joy and elation with interferon and interleukins which are efficient anti-cancer agents. Thus, the body converts ones experience into bio-chemicals.
Moreover, he portrays the ageing process as the product of own aspiration and values. For instance, he believes that live full of passion, dreams, and purpose leads to a satisfactory ageing. Further, there are three ingredients of purpose of life; (1) to identify true self by discovering God, (2) service to other humans, which is the reason of our lives, (3) to exercise own unique spontaneous abilities and in so doing one looses focus on time (Ans. 7).
According to his answer to query 8, he describes the spiritual aspect of ageing. He, beliefs a person can forge spiritual existence in the mind, and be arbitrary elusive to change. The most important, aspect of the human spirit is its powerful and everlasting nature, which when attained will allow a person to appreciate the present and the entire human lifetime as a glimmer in eternity.
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Chopra argues that as oppose to living the present moment which is associated with experience of eternity, most people do not live in their precious present moment; instead they are more concerned with the past and their future. By so doing they miss out on the essence of eternity and are more prone to ageing because their bodies do not release biological metabolites momentarily experiences such as laughter and excitement (Ans. 11). Meditation decelerates biological ageing because it has a quieting effect on the mind which in turn quiets the body leading to acceleration of the healing process (Ans. 12).
Chopra argues that love in the sense of experience of conscious unity with everything in the universe. Further, a person becomes a being capable of attaining different disguise with every individual. Thus, one who attains that experience is unable to hurt other people and will be protected from hurt by others.
How we can achieve longevity from the people who have lived the longest?
According to research findings, nearly 90% of an individual’s life expectancy largely depends on the habits of such an individual, as opposed to genes. About 6% of a person’s lifespan are determined by the parents’ endurance. According to Buettner and colleagues, the global longevity hotspots (blue zones) include; the Barbagia area in Sardinia district in Italy; the society of the SDA community of Loma Linda in California; and the Nicoya cape of Costa Rica.
The team of experts observed in each of the blue sports individuals attain age 100 at comparatively higher rate than the rest of the world’s populations, and generally they attain prolonged healthier lives. Nevertheless, they suffer a small degree of the fatal illnesses suffered by Americans. Buettner (81) attributes their longevity to reliance on food grown from their farms (Reynolds 5).
According to their findings, the natives in the blue zones have their unique cultural practice which account for their tendency to attain greater longevity relative to the rest of the world’s population. Some of the cultural practice which favors longevity are; drinking averagely two cups of wine every day, reliance on medicinal plot of ginger, turmeric and mugwort, and drinking unique hard water. Other interesting elements of the cultures of the natives include; doing things spontaneously, decreasing calories by 20%, consuming proportionately big plant-based diet, and identifying with a spiritual community, and determining own live purpose on earth (#. 6).
Buettner (81) disputes the belief by most of the developed world populations that diet pills help to improve ones longevity. Instead, he advocates for incorporation of a few powerful habits as well as surrounding self with the right people, in a person quest for longer live expectancy (#. 10).
Kluckhohn’s orientation vs. ageing
In her essay on the orientation of varian and dominant value, Kluckhohn has identified five general challenges faced by humans (Kluckhohn 346). Further, she claims that human personality every time reflects a complex integration of the common and diverse elements of live. Here she implied that different individuals share some general behaviors by virtue of common ancestry. Nevertheless, they depict variation in behaviors.
Buettner, Dan. The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the longest. New York: National Geographic Books, 2008. Print.
Delaney, William. Socio-cultural aspects of aging in Buddhist northern Thailand: social context and adaptation of the elderly. Urbana, Illinois: 1964. Print.
Kluckhohn, Florence. Dominant and variant value orientations. Personality in nature, society, and culture. NY: Alfred A. Khopf, 1953. Print.
Regmi, Rishi. Socio-economic and cultural aspects of ageing in Nepal. An exclusive interview by Veronica, Hay with Deepak Chopra, n.d.
Reynolds, Laura. The blue zone: lessons for living longer from people who have lived The longest. Washington, USA: Reynolds Public Relations Inc., 2008. Print.
Sokolovsky, Jay. The Cultural Context of Aging: World Wide Perspectives. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Publishing Westport: Bergin and Garvey, 2008. Print.