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Aging and Maturity

Yesterday I commented on an article by Carl Trueman which criticized infatuation with youth and appearance. Just this morning I read Dorothy Sayers essay “Strong Meat” in her book Creed or Chaos and it addressed this very issue. The entire piece- indeed the whole book- is valuable reading, but here are just a few samples on this topic:

“There is a popular school of thought (or, more strictly, of feeling) which violently resents the operation of Time upon the human spirit. It looks upon age as something between a crime and an insult. Its prophets have banished from their savage vocabulary all such words as adult, mature, experienced, venerable; they know only snarling and sneering epithets, like middle-aged, elderly, stuffy, senile, and decrepit. With these they flagellate that which they themselves are, or must shortly become, as if abuse were an incantation to exorcize the inexorable. Theirs is neither the thoughtless courage that “makes mouths at the invisible event” [Shakespeare] nor the reasoned courage that foresees the event and endures it; still less is it the ecstatic courage that embraces and subdues the event. It is the vicious and desperate fury of a trapped beast; and it is not a pretty sight.”

“From the relentless reality of age they seek escape into a fantasy of youth – their own or other people’s.”

“Now, children differ in many ways, but they have one thing in common. Peter Pan – if indeed he exists otherwise than in the nostalgic imagination of an adult – is a case for the pathologist. All normal children (however much we discourage them) look forward to growing up.”

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