New year, old age

Published December 30, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

Julie Daza
Julie Daza






Whether it’s your birthday or not, the passing of the old year spells an additional year to your age. When you were 12, you couldn’t wait to be 21. Now that you’re a certified senior citizen, wouldn’t it be nice if you could reverse the aging process and look 20 years younger? (Which is why a 50-year-old lady, as the story goes, preferred to tell people she was 60 so they could compliment her and say, “But you look 50!”)

In the 1980’s, as I remember those days, the beautiful people were caught up in the “skin is in” game, with their dermatologists playing a more important role in their lives than their dentists. (Dentists you saw twice a year; dermas you visited every month.) “Good skin” had to glow with smooth and dewy softness. Moisturizers and sunblock contained in all types of tubes and jars helped achieve the texture of youthful skin. With the next wave came stem-cell therapy, botox (a poison injected directly into the face every so often) and other hi-tech, “painless,” so-called noninvasive procedures to stretch the skin, lift the skin, pamper the skin with everything from gold thread to therma-something or other. If you looked at before-and-after pictures of their endorsers, of course you’d know every little bit of help is a big help, especially since your epidermis, even with its cells shedding to be reborn daily, is more than 45 years old.

Why do we need to age? Science has the answers, but how far should science go in discovering a cure for old age in the future? What would happen if modern medicine could remove the certainty of death? When he was pope, Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus, said in his Easter Sunday sermon in April 2010:

“Would that be a good thing? Humanity would become extraordinarily old, there would be no more room for youth. Capacity for innovation would die and endless life would be no paradise, if anything a condemnation.”

“Act your age” is good advice. Better yet, think young, to quote Tessie Sy Coson.

Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger, will be 93 years old on April 16, 2020. In 2015, when he stepped down from St. Peter’s rock, he was looking his age, 88.