Longevity – Don’t Blame Your Parents
Pointing Fingers at Ageism

Crabby's Quotes on Aging

“Let me do it,” said Crabby Old Lady. “Whenever you post quotes about getting old, you edit out the negative ones.

The problem, I told Crabby, is that people who have negative but quotable things to say about age trick them out with cuteness and cleverness so readers don’t notice the prejudice in them.

“Not always,” said Crabby. “Sometimes they’re just straight-out nasty about getting old. I want to post some to show TGB readers how even writers and thinkers of renown are sometimes hateful or stupid or mistaken.”

“Doris Day is a thinker of renown?” I asked Crabby. Anyway, here is Crabby Old Lady’s collection of quotes about aging:

  • “The really frightening thing about middle age is the knowledge that you'll grow out of it.”
    - Doris Day
  • All diseases run into one, old age.
    - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “It was one of the deadliest and heaviest feelings of my life to feel that I was no longer a boy. From that moment I began to grow old in my own esteem - and in my esteem, age is not estimable.”
    - Anatole France
  • “Old age is a shipwreck.”
    - Charles de Gaulle
  • “Whatever poet, orator or sage may say of it, old age is still old age.”
    - Sinclair Lewis
  • “Old age has deformities enough of its own. It should never add to them the deformity of vice.”
    - Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “I will never give in to old age until I become old. And I'm not old yet.”
    - Leo Rosten
  • ”Like many women my age, I am 28 years old.”
    - Mary Schmich
  • “In youth we run into difficulties. In old age difficulties run into us.”
    - Beverly Sills
  • “The trick is growing up without growing old.”
    - Casey Stengel
  • “Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.”
    - Tom Stoppard

  • “There's no such thing as old age, there is only sorrow.”
    - Fay Weldon


I just heard a writer for Forbes chatting about Viacom owner Sumner Redstone, who after firing Tom Cruise also fired his new CEO, who'd been in the job just 8 months. The writer kept telling Charlie Rose what a mistake it was and that he'd done it because he's a "cranky old man." He kept mentioning Redstone's impatience and impetuousness as the cause, somehow attaching those qualities to his age, which was surprising since anybody who's up on age-related stereotypes knows it's the young who supposedly possess those qualities. But again and again he claimed it's related to his advanced age, saying "Pardon the agism, but he's a cranky old man." And doncha love that? Using Ronni's test, imagine "Pardon the racism, but..."

Most comments of this nature seem to me to come from two sources: those who don't know what they're talking about, and those who are unhappy with their lives as they've experienced them.
The young at least have their lessons ahead of them, while the old seem to have missed them.

One of my favorite quotable quotes comes to mind:

"Life is like a beautiful melody, only the lyrics are messed up."

And, there's the one that goes: "Getting old ain't for sissies."

As I approach my 77th year I find myself agreeing more and more with Betty's quote. :)

Yes, Ronni, the negative attitudes that prevail about getting old, aging, permeate our culture, our thoughts and our words, even as we "cutely," as you put it, try to cushion the meaning.

During my entire life I have never understood the persistent attitude of so many to want to be some age other than what they are at the moment. Certainly I had moments of thought like that, but they were fleeting at best.

I don't know why I view aging in life this way. I don't know why so many others don't. Perhaps, part of it is because I'm always seeking the positives in life. That is not to say I'm not aware of the negatives, have not experienced many of them, and even, may have experienced more than some.

I think the status of my health, ability to provide for my needs, probably are the major factors which allow me to continue to view life in the manner in which I do.

Probably, the challenge to retain this positive attitude will come should I ever encounter a significant change in those two factors. I wonder if I am prepared to cope.

I don't care what anybody else says, old age is a beautiful time of life, pain, sorrow and all.

"What is youth except a man or a woman before it is ready or fit to be seen?"

Evelyn Waugh

I agree with joared. I am enjoying my old age and the freedom it entails. If you have seen the wonderful movie, "Tuesdays With Morrie" you know that Morrie was dying; even so he said he was a lucky man because it gave him time to learn more. I hope I can share his philosophy if I even become incapacitated and have to rely on the assistance of others. Yes, I have some medical issues that have interfered with some activities I love, but I just find replacements and enjoy those.
Attitude is everything.

My favorite quote on aging is:

"Old age is not a disease - it is strength and survivorship, triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and disappointments, trials and illnesses.”

The author is Maggie Kuhn who was a founder of the Gray Panthers.

Another I love comes from Dylan Thomas -- who never achieved old age himself:

"Do not go gentle into that good night. Old age should rage against the fading light."

And I really enjoy what Henry Ford had to say about becoming older & I think he may have got it right!

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

I hope I never stop learning.

Everything grows on an old log...

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