5 THINGS TO DO TO GROW OLDER

Wars, natural disasters, epidemic diseases and famine are unpredictable events that happen to wipe away a significant proportion of any nation’s population anytime they happen. And when such events happen they do not look at young or old persons. They sweep away any person on their path.  One of these disasters that occurred in Japan in 2011 pictured below was nicknamed Tsunami.

Some disasters sweep away, others bury, others swallow, others burn and others drown people. All get lost from the surface of the earth.

                                                  A Tsunami in action

The above are unpredictable things that can end a person’s life no matter what precautions they have taken to help them grow to an old age.

These are unforeseen acts of God and men that cannot be taken into account when planning because they rarely happen and are uncontrollable.

In the absence of the above and under normal conditions man can live longer if he takes great care of himself. Every one of us loves to grow old and it is the desire of most people not to die even when they are seriously sick.

Life is an important and a necessary commodity nobody wants to lose just like that. If God came down and promised to increase the number of years humans could live on this earth many would praise and thank Him. Whatever your age is at the time of reading this post you wish you could live up to the next 100 years.

Though God has pegged man’s surviving age at 70 years for the present generation according to the Bible and according to my own observation, many have lived beyond that age and you too can if you are able to do certain things.

                                                         A 70  year-old man

I have not yet heard of anybody who wanted to die just because he had reached the 70 years which God has allowed. The only exception I met recently was a young man of about 25 years who did not see the need to live up to 70 years if he had no money. Well he could be a potential suicide since they are all not yet wiped out.

The road to the 70th milestone is not very smooth and many have not been able to reach there and many will still not be able to reach there if they do not follow these suggestions.

In order to reach there and probably beyond I have some few suggestions for you to follow which will help you to grow older.

  1. Have Regular Medical Check-ups

Out of nowhere certain diseases can develop in your body without your knowledge. Some may not show any symptoms at all but will weaken you gradually. Seeing a Doctor once a year for a medical examination will help you to detect any abnormalities in your system and take precautionary measures. It can also help you to find other health problems before they start.

                                          A Doctor conducting medical check up

A lot of people know this but fail to see a Doctor for several reasons. First, there is no outward sign of any disease to necessitate going to see a Doctor, secondly they are too busy and thirdly they want to avoid paying the small fee the Doctor will take.

Seeing a Doctor at least once a year is not a bad idea to maintain a healthy life to help you grow older.

  1. Become Spiritually Inclined

By spiritual inclination I mean being aware of the existence of God and trying to live in harmony with nature. This means living physically in this world but living above what entails in it. What entails in this world include sexual immorality, hatred, vengeance, anger, envy, jealousy, selfish ambition, drunkenness, idol worship and witchcraft, among others.

These things defile a person who practices any of them and make him spiritually unclean and vulnerable to early death because evil goes to those who think and practice evil.

God in His own wisdom observed this and sent spiritual leaders to come and show men how to live the spiritual life. Talk of Jesus Christ, Mohammed and Buddha.

Some of the above spiritual leaders did not live long enough, to assert that their spirituality made them live to an old age. They were very special beings and had specific tasks to perform; they came to guide men, but not to live among them.

Society benefits from those who lead spiritual lives. If you are a spiritual person someone has to benefit from following your advice and footsteps by drawing nearer to God. You have a calling to lead people and to teach them the way of life. Cause them to gossip among themselves about your humility and simplicity. Let them pick you out from the rest.

Living the spiritual life also means you don’t strive for worldly things like a mansions, cars, fashionable and material possessions. Wanting such things often bring worry and confusion to the mind and leads to doing things which may not be in harmony with nature.

Many people who profess to be Christians and give the impression of living holy lives are actually not living anywhere near a spiritual life. Their level of spiritual awakening is very low, judging from their way of life which is fraught with the quest for material acquisition and wealth. This in turn has the tendency to breed dishonest and bad practices which do not promote spiritual uprightness.

When your mind is free of having evil thoughts about others you are free. When your mind is free of the thought of acquiring material things and lots of money you are free, and when you try to live like your spiritual leader you shed much of the troubles entailed in this material world. This allows you to live longer.

  1. Live in a Green Environment

I have already written a full article on this topic titled FOUND! SECRETS FOR GROWING OLDER published on this site on the 8th February, 2017. Please click and read. These suggestions shall not be complete without it.

  1. Fast Regularly

Eating nutritious food is good for your health, so also is abstinence from taking food for a while. A healthy lifestyle should not be eating, eating all the while but interlaced with short bouts of fasting to cleanse and detox the body.

Fasting has a lot of benefits for you including both physical and spiritual aspects.

I have also observed that the one thing which motivates people most to fast is their need for God to hear their long time prayers for granting some specific requests.

Most Christians don’t fast because they want to improve their spiritual life or become holy but they do so when they want money, marriage, a child, work, protection from enemies and from my corner a visa for travelling.

Well, the purpose of peoples fasting is not of much concern here but the relevant message is to bring you the benefits of fasting so you will start practicing it to live longer. I experienced some few benefits myself and have added what others also benefited as well.

Despite experiencing some initial pains in my stomach and a dry mouth at the end of the first day, I continued for 2 more days. At the end I felt very light and thought I could be blown away by any strong wind. But I felt good about it because I thought I had some superior power over everybody. I could think more clearly and had answers to some small personal problems. That was the first experience.

Fasting has a long and varied list of benefits a couple of which are having better resistance to diseases and the power to perceive things ordinary eyes and mind cannot.

Finally because of your ability to resist diseases you can live longer.

  1. Always Be Happy and Cheerful

’Be joyful always; pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances……..’’ – 1Thessalonians 5:16

                                                            Be cheerful always

You can be joyful if you have no malice towards your brother or friend. Sometimes when you think of a grudge existing between you and someone, you are not at peace, whether you were the cause or not. In that circumstance your mind cannot be free to make you a joyful person. You must get rid of the little, little negative things in your mind to set the mind free.

Getting rid of those negatives will send you to make peace with whoever has a grudge with you. My experience shows that people shy away from making peace this way because they think the other person will mock him when he takes the initiative.

Forget what the other person will say. Your level of understanding is probably higher than his. After making peace wait and see your happiness coming from within because you have no quarrels with no-one.

Anger or envy poisons the blood. You may not know this. Look at someone who is always angry and judge his disposition.  The poisoned blood causes his facial muscles to get tightly squeezed to deform his face and make it appear ugly and frightening. There is no cheerfulness in him. Neither does jealously promote happiness in any shape or form.

To be cheerful and smiling you send out positive vibrations from your body that infect anyone near you. Someone who is sad can look at you and momentarily smile back at you. If someone is laughing hilariously it is possible for people to laugh back before they ask the cause of the laughter.

It is happy people who laugh and laughter is a good medicine.

You may have the tendency to pity yourself when your expectations are not being fulfilled and time is moving fast for you. How can you be happy when this morning you probably woke up not knowing where your breakfast would come from since you cannot have it by yourself? Don’t worry over it because it is not the worry which will solve that problem for you.

In all circumstances be joyful. This is an advice from an Apostle of the Lord to men but because men’s level of understanding is limited this advice is ignored and men follow their own emotions to react to circumstances. When you react to circumstances your own way you misbehave and become violent at times and do things beyond the normal.

Happiness relieves tension and stress and makes you lively. It plays a big role in making you grow older as you always remain lively and healthy.

 

 

 

7 THINGS TO STOP DOING TO GROW OLDER

There are some things you cannot do to control your destiny but there are other things you can do to control your life in order to grow older. At the same time there are things you can stop doing to help you grow older. Growing older is not a phenomenon for only elderly persons but the youth as well.

Here’s a little lesson in Physiology to form a basis for our post for today.

The human body is made up of cells, organs and systems that keep the body active and functioning at all times.

Cells that make up the organs grow and wear out and replace themselves periodically but the organs remain the same organs. Cells have a limit to the number of years they can replace themselves and when they can no longer do so their organs become weak and subsequently cannot function well to maintain a healthy and vibrant system.

At this stage in your life you become a weak or sick person, and depending upon the significant number of years you have lived, you are classified as an old person.

The way you live your life has a direct bearing on the way you grow older. If you are involved in hard labor your cells wear faster than the one in soft labor, and subsequently affects your health status. This however does not mean that the one in soft labor is healthier and stronger.

Much of what you do as a human being has effect on your lifestyle, especially when you indulge yourself in pleasurable or sweet things it affects you negatively. You know how sweet sugar tastes but if you follow it you will harm yourself in the end by bringing upon yourself diseases like diabetes, obesity, heart-related diseases and tooth decay.

So, there are some things that you have to avoid doing in order not to expose your cells or organs to early destruction or weakness. For example, always exposing your body to intense heat like working in an oven or near a burning fire can gradually affect you negatively.

There are many drugs on the market (including fake ones) that are supposed to cure diseases, but some of these drugs have adverse  or negative effects and when you take them on your own they can leave you with a new disease that destroy your cells and organs.

Examine the following issues carefully to determine if you are involved in any of them, and if these writings make some sense to you, just stop doing them.

  1. Bad Eating Habits

                                                       A bad eating habit

I personally believe that bad eating habits do not promote good health and vitality. We are advised by those in the medical field not to drink water whilst eating because the water dilutes the enzymes that help in digestion and subsequently delays the digestion process.

Eating too much is not good enough, especially before bedtime as this is said to cause being prone to diabetic attack. In severe cases diabetes can kill.

Also having drinks instead of water. Some people choose to drink minerals or beer when they should drink water instead. Sugary drinks are usually high in calories and can also cause weight problems which hamper having a healthy life.

Water is an important necessity for the good functioning of your body and must be drunk at regular intervals and not only when you are thirsty.

 

                                                             Clean, bottled water

When having a meal concentrate on it and do nothing to distract your attention, for example reading a book, having serious conversation or watching telenovela. Such habits do not help you in maintaining good health.

  1. Eating the Wrong kinds of Food

This is one of the most serious problems that often lead to death. According to a renowned Pathologist at Ghana’s Korle Bu Teaching Hospital most deaths are caused by eating the wrong kinds of food. He therefore warns the public, and I re-echo it, to be very cautious about their choice of food.

Generally animal fat is not good for consumption and the Israelis were forbidden by God not to eat it. It can block the intestines, veins and arteries to cause serious health problems related to blood flow. God might have had the same or other reasons for forbidding it. You are not different from an Israeli in terms of eating wrong foods.

                                                                  Animal fat

As said earlier you may be diabetic but may not know it because it has not reached the disturbing stage. In this condition you should not consume sugar or sugary foods.

All kinds of food can be generally good but depending on your health status certain kinds of food will not be good for you. ‘’One man’s meat is another man’s poison’’ may apply here.  You should know your health status at all times.

You well know that salt gives food the desired taste and so the right amount is used always. However, a Medical Doctor can ban you from consuming even the smallest amount of salt for life depending on your health condition. If you are fortunate to be told this you become aware of your health status and can desist from taking salt to preserve your life. What will happen to you if you are in this condition and don’t know anything and continue consuming salt?

  1. Living a Sedentary Life

Living a sedentary lifestyle does not promote good health. If your work involves too much sitting you are advised to do much of exercise, at least some regular walking morning or evening.

If you are an older person who is weak and cannot do any strenuous job you need to walk around your house every morning even if with the aid of a walking stick. That will help you a little than always sitting at one place waiting to be served with your breakfast and then go back to sleep.

  1. Refusal to Have Regular Medical Check-ups

There are people who have specialized in studying human physiology to know how the body functions and provide antidotes in the event of something going wrong within or outside the body.

                                                              A Medical Doctor

As the body ages it gradually loses the ability to regenerate its cells and the ability to defend itself against diseases, and weakness takes over.  During such period you will need the services of these specialized people to assist you with the provision of medical care and advice to help you to continue living.

Life without regular check-ups by a Medical Doctor can end abruptly, and if you are young your family may attribute your sudden death to an imaginary witch, whilst with check-ups sudden deaths could be delayed or avoided altogether.

I know some adults who fear to see a Doctor just for the fear of a small needle.

  1. Having too Much Sex

Many people will not take this advice because it goes against what they love to do most. One thing I have already told you is that where there is too much pleasure and sweetness there also is death hiding nearby. Take it or leave it.

                                               Too much sex can weaken a man

I am not a Medical Doctor but I have observed many things in my 60 years of life to have an informed opinion about many issues including health. I know that too much sex on the part of men gradually weakens them that’s the reason women live longer than men.

Men exert much more energy during sexual intercourse than women do. That is why after a couple of rounds of vigorous sex you feel exhausted and have to sleep. And if you are either a young or elderly person and continue exhausting yourself regularly over long periods of time what will happen to you eventually? You’ll die leaving the women behind.

Craving for too much sex can push you to go after someone’s wife and commit adultery. Sadly this sin is considered normal in some communities in this world. When you go after someone’s wife you may one day get killed, period.

Growing older is a continuous process from birth so this piece of advice goes for all ages and not just for the old. Take special care if you are in your 30’s to grow older gracefully.

  1. Boozing

By boozing I refer to excessive drinking of alcohol (that is what it means of course). We all have fun with friends and brothers at times and take a little drink to spice the occasion. That in itself is nothing bad and I don’t like Pastors who preach strongly against all forms of drinking.

But what do you expect them to do when some people can drink to their death? Others drink and temporarily become paralyzed and that happens on a regular or periodic basis because they love to be called alcoholics.

alcohol addiction – drunk businessman holding a glass of whiskey on the table

Booze has been the cause of divorce in many homes but that is on a lighter side. It is a killer as well and has killed people too through serious hangovers in homes, through accidents on the streets and highways and through fighting where people get stabbed.

Booze has a very special way of exposing its victims. They usually have red mouth, puffy cheeks and swollen feet, with hands that always tremble. Their crave for the drink is always strong to enable them feel rather normal. Well, if you have the above symptoms know that you are at a dangerous point in your life. Is anyone of them reading this?

Why not stop boozing to live longer? There surely is a cure for this.

  1. Stress

In my post titled 12 THINGS TO STOP DOING AT 60 published on the 25th July, 2015, I mentioned that one of the things to stop doing at age 60 is stressful work.

Stressful work is that which takes much of your time and energy and leaves you very much exhausted at the time you close.

I read the story of a busy Secretary who always worked beyond normal working hours every day. She was paid very well by her employer but her problem was she never had time to enjoy her pay.

The topic is here again for you to read briefly about it.

                                                                    Stress

We all face stressful moments at one time or the other during our daily routines. When there is much work for you to do within a very short time you feel tensed up. When you have some pressing financial obligations to fulfill but have not the resources, you feel uneasy. Just thinking about something, some responsibility or obligation which you may not be able to discharge immediately can cause you some stress.

Thinking about issues like joblessness, lack of money, death of a family member, sickness, relationship and other issues can deepen your restlessness. There are a lot more causes and is a comprehensive topic quite beyond the scope of this post to get the wider picture. Readers are therefore advised to go online to read more about stress and how to cope with it.

In the meantime the one thing to remember before you go is that too much thinking can cause you temporary madness and so do as much as you can not to think too much about your problems and difficulties. It is dangerous to cross a major road when you are thinking too much.

In order to live longer you must de-stress yourself and try to have some peace of mind to live your life.

CONCLUSION

The above is not a comprehensible list of all the negative things you have to stop doing to grow older. There are more negative things to stop doing. Just take a little time to check yourself out to find out if you are doing certain things which are not good for your health. Then advise yourself.

Whilst this post looked at things to stop doing, the next post shall look at things you must do to help you grow older.

HOW TO COPE WITH LONELINESS IN OLD AGE

It is possible, due to a variety of reasons, to find yourself without a companion in old age. Things may be worse for you if you are troubled by some chronic sickness. But in all difficult situations you can boldly say ‘’The Lord is my helper; I will not fear.

What has motivated me to write this piece was the reality of the situation I observed  in a conversation I had with an old man who lives in a village at Nkurakan, near Koforidua in the Eastern region of Ghana when I visited him with one of his sons who is my in-law.

The old man was living alone in a cottage without a wife, child, or grandchild. It wasn’t that he had never married or had never borne children but that simply was the situation he was in.

He had lost his wife, and all his six children were living in other towns with their children, and none was prepared to live with the old man in the cottage. They cannot leave town to stay in the rural area.

The old man fetches water by himself, sweeps his compound and prepares his own food. He has no companion, except some few people in the surrounding cottages who visit him once in a while.

Though he visits his children some of whom are married he does not spend more than a week with any one of them.

I took the opportunity to ask the old man during the visit ‘’so what will you do if you fall sick in the night?’’

He just laughed at my question and answered, ‘’It’s God who cares for me. I normally don’t fall sick.’’

‘’Old man,’’ I don’t want to be pessimistic but one day when you fall sick it may be a problem for you. You are growing older and may not always have the same strength to care for yourself,’’ I advised him.

‘’Don’t worry, my son, my life rests in the hands of God,’’ he told me.

In an answer to a suggestion I put forward his son said the question of sending this old man to a home for the aged to be cared for is totally out of the options. At least his presence on his land helps keep thieves and encroachers away. Moreover he will not consent to such a move.

Is this old man facing this problem of loneliness just because he lives in a cottage? Are old people who live in towns and cities immune from this problem of loneliness? Certainly not, considering the facts I have listed below.

  • Death of Spouse

If you lose your spouse you certainly will be left alone. There are moments you will remember having shared together but cannot share with anyone else and this will definitely overwhelm you.

A widower above 60 years can re-marry if he wishes and can afford but the Bible advises widows above 60 not to re-marry for their dedication to Christ. The loneliness created by the death of a spouse is indeed overwhelming.

  • Death of Children

It is possible for all your children to die before you, leaving you childless. It has happened to some people and it’s not an easy thing to live with.

  • Childlessness

Though having children is no guarantee against loneliness in old age, in some instances it mitigates the negative feeling.

After a long time loss of contact, a lost child may one day re-surface to visit his or her aged parent to bring home some relief.

Having no child at all is an act of God which is beyond human understanding. Never let this worry you if you are one because you can never change the situation.

  • Neglect of Responsibility towards Children

If you do not care for your children whilst they are young and they grow up with resentment against you, unless the unexpected happens do not expect them to visit you when you are old, wherever you may be.

  • Cruel Nature

If you are naturally cruel and show no sympathy towards people or are vindictive, your actions may drive people away from you including your own children.

In that situation, nobody will draw near you, not even in your old age.

People who don’t know you may initially draw near to you but sooner your nature will pop up to drive them away from you even if you have millions.

A millionaire once stuffed his kitchen with drinks and food during Christmas time, expecting people to come and visit him so he could serve them. Nobody visited him and later he confessed this in a church.

  • Absence of Contemporaries

In old age it is possible to have lost all your contemporaries, people with whom you attended school, or worked with when younger. Some might have been dead; others might have relocated to other towns or areas and you may find yourself left alone.

SUGGESTIONS FOR COPING WITH LONELINESS

Many old people are in this unsavory situation. Many have already lost their classmates or age mates with whom they could remember the past together.

This piece of writing is not a theoretical exercise. It comes with practical suggestions which can help old people cope with their loneliness.

You’ll soon grow old if you are not already old, so it will help you too. Many people like you are afraid of growing old for a situation like this to prevail in their lives. But when it comes how will you cope with it?

Some of the suggestions are given by Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, a writer in Vancouver, Canada which I find ideal to relate to this article. Laurie writes ‘’She Blossoms’’ books and blogs at www.theadventurouswriter.com.

Having Children is no Guarantee

Like I earlier stated, Laurie too believes that having children is no guarantee of not being alone in old age.

She relates that her 40 year-old sister hasn’t talked to their 68 year-old mother in over 10 years and doesn’t think that will change before her mum dies. Her mum did not do anything wrong or bad—just she is mentally ill. She certainly does not deserve to be cut out of her daughter’s and granddaughter’s lives.

Based on what her sister had done Laurie believes no matter how many children you have there’s no guarantee they’ll want to talk to you when they are grown.

  • Create Your Own Family

The writer advises that you create your own ‘’family’’ and don’t count on your kin to keep you company in old age.

You cannot rely on your children because when they grow up they may not stay in the same town with you. Some may travel to live in another town or city. Others may travel to live and work in another country or continent.

It is possible for one child to become chronically ill or even die before you. Another child may prefer to stay with your other partner if you are divorced.

So try building non-family relationships which is easier and deeper than family relationships.

  • Never Let One Person or Thing Become the Centre of Attraction in Your Life

Laurie advises that to cope with being alone in your old age you should cope with all of life’s ups and downs and create a strong network of love and support.

You should cherish friends and neighbors around you because if you rely solely on your spouse for support and you lose him/her, you’ll find yourself lost and lonely. If you rely on only one career for life’s fulfillment you’ll be lost and lonely if you should lose your job.  Also if you hope on your children but they find opportunities to travel then you’ll be lost and lonely.

 

  • Share Your Experiences

To add to the above suggestions by Laurie I also believe that sharing your experiences with the younger generation shall keep them coming to you for advice. Experience is the best teacher; though a lot of the youth today fail to heed the advice of the elderly which some refer to as being archaic and not relevant to the present technological age. Despite that you’ll still get people who are level-headed to listen to you if your ideas are relevant to their needs.

There are times when people with certain technical knowledge are retained in business after their retirement, to help train the younger ones.

  • Avoid the Worship of tin-gods

There are parents who show excessive love for one out of their many children, or even for a lone child. I think this comes naturally and can be likened to the agape kind of love which God has for mankind.

But this agape kind of love for a child can have dire consequences for you in old age because when the child is not with you or is dead, you feel the void and feel lonelier. You cannot bear the loss easily should the child die before you. Never worship any of your children as a tin-god.

Do not also allow yourself to be obsessed by any material thing in your life, for the loss of it could affect your life in old age. For example you may rely too much on your car for even short distances which you can walk. Such total dependence on material things has many disadvantages and should not be relied upon.

 

  • Draw Nearer to God by Prayer

I say confidently and by instinct that the best antidote to loneliness is to draw nearer to God by prayers. In old age you are supposed to be more spiritual and more prayerful. By prayer you will be communicating with God, who is the deliverer and helper of all, and a strong refuge for the weak and old.

By communicating regularly with God you will feel subconsciously that you have somebody just beside you to complain to if you have any worries, somebody out there who is ever ready to help you. In fact it is true and you will never feel lonely. I believe the old man I spoke to has this intuition to be so confident about God’s care.

But the state of your mind can allow you to feel lonely only if you allow yourself to think that way.

When you are old and weak try to pray with Psalm 71 always and see the result.

LAURIE’S SISTER

With regards to people like Laurie’s sister, their behavior is rather unfortunate that they can turn their back on their parents who brought them up, for no apparent or trivial reason.

Laurie’s sister should try and visit their old mother and help her in the smallest way she can to put some smile back on the old lady’s face before she dies. This advice goes for all unrelenting grown up children whose actions are similar to that of Laurie’s sister.

Please share your views.

 

NOTICE!

CARER AVAILABLE FOR THE AGED

Sometimes caring for your aged parent can become a problem due to work schedules and other activities.

If the well-being of your old parent is your concern and need someone to take care of him/her at your own home or that of the parent, just call or whatsapp Mr. Awuah on 0243074011 to provide you with an experienced carer.

The welfare of the aged is our concern. Use our services.

THE PLEASURES OF GROWING OLD

 

Growing old is the phenomenon by which you mature from middle age into older adulthood and beyond.  The point at which you may cross from middle age to old age or the barrier between maturity and old age is 65 years and when you go beyond the barrier you are growing old. Growing old is a natural part of the life-cycle and need not to be feared.

On the other hand growing older could refer to your metamorphosis from the day you were born up to the present time of your life.

You start growing older from the day you were born and keep growing older till you die. So, both young and old keep growing older. The young shall grow old later in life.

Growing older from one stage to another

 

IT’S GREAT TO BE YOUNG

Being young has a lot of thrills. There are many things you can do and you don’t actually think whether they are good or bad. You don’t care a damn about what the consequences are; once your instinct tells you to do them you go ahead.

There is a limit to the thinking ability of most youth but few others can also think beyond conceivable limits. So there are young men who are geniuses in their field of study or work, especially in the technological field.

The youth must use their acquired skills in technology to improve their way of life and not do things which produce negative results.

Success in life starts whilst young. Nobody becomes a star in old age; it all starts from the youthful days. You hear older people boasting about their youthful days, their achievements and successes, exuberance and power, pride and prowess.

The Youth

 

Being young offers so many opportunities in life and any young person who has good intentions should remember that staying youthful is not forever, so if you have anything good up your sleeve let it out now. Sooner or later you’ll grow old and never be able to do the things you wished.

Yes, there is much to offer when you are young and you could enjoy all the pleasures associated with your efforts. But what pleasures can you enjoy when you are old?

GERASCOPHOBIA

Many people dread growing older because the road to their grave keeps growing shorter. Such people suffer from a condition known as gerascophobia. Refer to my post titled HOW TO AVOID THE FEAR OF AGEING published on this site on the 21st February, 2017.

The Face of Fear

Fear of ageing rather speeds up the process of growing old, the very thing you dread and are running away from, and thinking too much about it robs you of any pleasure.

FULFILLING LIFE

Unless you lived a fulfilling life you will forever dread growing old. A fulfilling life is one in which you live in conformity with the will and commands of your Creator.

Surely growing old has its pleasures that are hidden from the youth. Unless you grow old you’ll never experience those pleasures which are reserved for only the old.

It can be compared to the wisdom of God which is hidden from those without the spirit of God and do not accept the things that come from the spirit of God because they are foolishness to them.

Simply explained, if you do not belong to a group you do not understand their way of doing things. You are a total stranger and will not understand their ways.

If you do not belong to a group you don’t know their way of doing things

Before we move on I like you to consider a few benefits of growing old.

One fact to note is that not all conditions and climates are the same in every part of the world. A lot of differences exist and I am writing my experience from a spot near the equator (not Equatorial Guinea) which is different from a spot near Iceland.

  • Respect

If you are an old person, society respects you. You are seen to be a wise person with your grey hair. At an old age you do not commit any of the sins of this world like fornication and adultery, stealing and lying, or involve yourself in any debauching behavior.

 

  • Priority

At old age you are given priority over other people in public places where a service is rendered. You also have special privileges from Government regarding health care and welfare.

 

  • Care

Due to your old age you do not work. You rest a lot because you might be weak in flesh. But your family gives you the utmost care that you need. You’ll enjoy better care from your own home or from a home that cares for the aged.

  • Pension Fund

This is the time that you may be enjoying your pension fund or savings. Isn’t that pleasing?

 

PLEASURES OF GROWING OLD

How can old people who can do nothing have any pleasures to enjoy?

Remember that in every situation and condition there is an advantage and a disadvantage, a rough side and a smooth side, likes and dislikes, etc.

How can you give thanks to God in a circumstance which is not to your liking? Consider losing a lover or someone very dear to your heart painfully and God is asking you to thank Him for it. Does it make sense to you? Think about it and declare your stand.

If it makes sense why can’t there be pleasures to enjoy in old age. Being old is not a condemnation. In every bad situation there likely are some advantages. So there can be some pleasures in old age. Maybe not the kind of pleasure you would think of but consider the following:

In a society which respects their elderly people you are treated as King.

  • Blessing

Growing to an old age is a blessing from God and a pleasure for the old. Blessing is a good gift from God. When God blesses someone He makes things go well for the person. Nobody likes to die whilst young so the old count it as a pleasure to be alive at their age.

  • Wisdom

Your number of years acquired on this earth allows you to gain much wisdom. Your wisdom enables you to instruct your grandchildren to lead morally upright lives. You can also give advice on problems that may arise within your family and the community in which you live.

You are seen positively as a spiritual mentor. At the same time that you can discern things spiritually and your predictions come to pass, you can be regarded negatively as a witch by your family if things you predict are not in their favor.

Not all people have your kind of wisdom.

 

  • Soon leaving behind the troubles of this world

If you traveled to a foreign land and had much difficulty coping with the life over there would you not be happy if you had a free ticket to return to your original country?

One of the pleasures of growing old is the knowledge that you’ll soon leave this troubled world behind you.

  • Eternal Rest

The thought of soon going to have eternal rest from your labors is refreshing indeed for the old. Who does not like taking rest from hard work and a body probably embattled with cancer or stroke or hypertension?

There’s a verse in the Methodist Hymn Book which sings as follows:

Now the labourer’s task is over,

Now the battle day is past;

Now upon the farther shore

Lands the voyager at last.

Father in Thy gracious keeping

Leave me now Thy servant sleeping.

 

  • Nearer My God to Thee

At old age your thoughts are on things spiritual, not earthly. You do not commit yourself too much to earthly things as already mentioned. Trying to avoid these things give you some peace of mind which is vital to living the rest of your life here on earth whilst thinking about the type of mansion Jesus had built for you up there. You might be nearer the mansion than you think. What’s more pleasurable when still all your song shall be nearer my God to thee.

  • Attaining God-Consciousness

Attaining God-consciousness is the ultimate stage of man’s sanctity and uprightness.  At this level you have attained the highest form of spirituality and can cause a dead person to rise up. You can say things to trees or animals and they will obey you.

God created man in his own image and gave him a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline to live his life.

If knowing that you have this power to do what will glorify God and help mankind and it does not give you pleasure, what on this earth will please you again?

This consciousness is not attained by living anyhow as some men do. It is attained by making a conscious effort to live by the spirit as stated in Galatians 5: 16-17.

‘’ Live by the spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. ‘’

Then also, by the God life as directed by the Apostle Paul and his friend Timothy to people at Colosse. – Colossians 3: 1-17.

It is not a consciousness for the youth. It is a pleasure for the old to attain.

 

A WORD OF ADVICE TO THE YOUTH

Many a time young people think the ideas of old people are archaic and irrelevant to their lives and have introduced their own value systems and weird behaviors to suit their whims and caprices.

A people that deny their elderly persons and reject their wisdom and guidance have not only robbed old age of its meaning but have also denied themselves of the meaning of their own existence and lost their direction.

 

 

 

 

LOOKING BACK 54 SOLID YEARS

                                                                          Looking back

Looking back 54 years ago I can confirm that there have been a lot of drastic changes in almost all facets of life, for both the better and the worse of situations.

There have been worse changes in the behavioral patterns of children and their respect for the elderly; also worse is the rush of people to get rich by foul means.

There have also been significant increases in populations worldwide with attendant crime levels as well as significant improvements in the fields of science and technology.

This post is limited to life as I remember it some 54 years ago in my country Ghana.

I was motivated to write this piece when I had a conversation with Mr. Emmanuel Acheampong, a cousin of mine and a primary school mate, on the night of Saturday, 5th March, 2017.

We met once again after a separation of nearly 10 years and recalled some fond memories of our final year at the Middle School in the year 1963, and I have decided to recall more memories of the time to tell readers of this blog how life was some 54 years ago. I have interwoven the school life with the public life as I observed it by then.

MIDDLE SCHOOL

I completed Form 4 at the Asuboi Local Authority Methodist Middle School, popularly known as L.A. in August, 1963, with Mr. Acheampong and 21 others including 3 girls. We were 23 pupils.

Asuboi lies on the Accra-Kumasi road, barely some 55 kilometres from Accra. It is a merging point for 2 rivers, Kua and Suhum.

Some of us are not living now, as I would hear at some long interval the death of one and have so far counted 5 dead, 8 alive and fate of 9 unknown, whether dead or alive.

Since we dispersed in 1963 I have never met some of my mates all these 54 years. That’s how life is; you get together at one time and disperse never to meet again in your life.

Fact was that being in Form 4 was no joke at all. You had to pass ‘’hall’’, as the final examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council for Middle school leavers was called. We had to attend extra classes after the normal and even had to go to classes on Saturdays when hall date was drawing near.

The Headteacher, who was our class teacher was called Mr. J.A. Mantey, whom we nicknamed ‘’etiriho’’ for liking a type of haircut called ‘’around the city.’’

YOUNGEST AT SCHOOL

I was among the 3 smallest boys in the class and the youngest at 15 years of age. During that period children were found qualified to begin school when they put their hands across their heads and the hand was able to touch their ears. I didn’t pass through that experience but started primary one when I was only 6 years old, and most children in the class were older than me. There were no Kindergartens or Preparatory schools by then.

RED AND BLUE BOOKS

The standard of education was very high. At Form 4 we were using the Blue Book as our class reading book. There was also the Red Book. These Red and Blue Books were compilations of stories from the Readers Digest published for use as reading books in schools. They had new words sections which grouped difficult and strange words for study before reading the chapters. Through this mode of learning we had a lot of vocabulary up our sleeves.

I kept my copy of the Blue Book long after leaving school but unfortunately I don’t remember when it disappeared from my small library of books.

THE ATOMIC BOMB SCARE

Here is a true story that put fear and panic into us in a period in or around the year 1962.

We heard at school that President General Charles de Gaulle of France was going to test an atomic bomb on the Sahara Desert which was true at the time. One of our class mates who heard a lot of news from town always briefed us about when the bomb was going to explode and the effect it would have on us.

He told us that the atomic bomb was a very lethal weapon and that if de Gaulle went ahead with the test all of us south of the Sahara were going to die by breathing poisoned air in a very short time. In fact one morning he came to tell us that by the next 3 days we would all be dead bodies.

It wasn’t easy and pleasant hearing this news. All of us were afraid. Oh! Who would tell de Gaulle to stop this wicked thing he was going to do?

It was harmattan period and the weather was very hazy every morning. We did not know whether de Gaulle had pulled the trigger to cause so much mist in the atmosphere. At a point we were all resigned to our fate; come what may.

But later the mist subsided and we lived on. In fact I don’t remember if the bomb really exploded. Can someone remind me?

 

6TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

                                                            Ghana Independence Arch

The 6th Ghana independence anniversary celebration took place in 1963, and there was the usual march past by schools. The 3 schools that marched best were declared and L.A. was among the three. It wasn’t particularly different from the previous celebrations. That year we did not have any souvenirs from the government as we had in some of the previous years.

This year (2017) marks the 60th independence anniversary of Ghana. I wish all Ghanaians happy celebrations and a big change in attitude.

DR. KWAME NKRUMAH

                                                       Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

Yeah, I remember the day we were made to line the main Nsawam to Suhum road as the President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, was coming to pass through Asuboi on his way to Suhum. We stood in the sun with miniature flags for two hours before the President came to pass and we waved our flags. He waved at us without stopping. He had no idea how long we had waited. His convoy was not very huge; I remember just about 3 or 4 cars.

After he passed we were asked to go home.

BEDFORD TRUCKS

                                               Bedford Truck (without the wooden body)

At that time people travelled in wooden trucks. There were very few buses.

The United Africa Company popularly known as the UAC imported and sold the chassis frame of trucks and the rich bought them. There were specialized body builders who built the wooden bodies on the chassis frames. Suhum in the eastern region of Ghana was the home of this business, though there were others in other towns including Kumasi.

The most popular truck at that time was the Bedford truck which was very solid and strong. Others were Opel, Austin and Morris.

There was an older version of the Bedford which was sparked with a special metal device by inserting the device into the ‘’nose’’ of the vehicle and winding it in exactly the same way the village corn mill was sparked.

                                                    An older model of the Bedford

INSCRIPTION ON VEHICLES

Though these passenger trucks had registration numbers, what made them more popular were the unique inscriptions on them. Some had the inscriptions on specially mounted boards at the front, others had theirs written behind them. It’s worthwhile to remember a few of these inscriptions:

London Boy

Trust in God

Open Reproach is Better Than Secret Love

No Time to Die

Suffer to Gain

Remember Your Six Feet

Fear Woman

Part-time Lover

Boy Skido

God is in Control

 

CARS

 

There were various types of cars but the ones that delighted the rich included the Chevrolet, Pontiac and Jaguar. They were called aeroplane cars.

                                                                     An aeroplane car

My father lived and worked at Accra so I travelled here quite often. The Kwame Nkrumah Interchange or Circle area was nothing but a swampy place with pools of stagnant water inhabited by frogs and toads which made a lot of noise in the night. The stagnant pools also had tall grass growing in them and also bred a lot of mosquitoes.

 

                                       The Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Accra

The Accra metropolis ended at Adabraka. When you crossed Adabraka, you entered a new zone altogether with a lot of neem trees and dotted with some few houses here and there.

CHURCH ATTENDANCE

Church building

We were under obligation to attend church service on Sundays. Ours was a mission school and church attendance was part of our education. Those who failed to attend church on Sundays had special punishment ranging from receiving strokes of cane or weeding of the school compound to bringing margarine tins of cracked palm kernel or bamboo trees to school to build or repair the school fence.

CONFIRMATION

I was confirmed into the Methodist Church in 1963. That time due to my Christian upbringing I had to be confirmed as a full member of the Church. Sadly my life thereafter did not reflect much on the Christian ethics and beliefs we learnt at school. It looked like the confirmation was just some formality for me to complete school.

It was so with many others. Accepting Christ does not come from reading the Bible at a Bible class or learning Scriptures at school. It is a totally different experience based on faith and conviction.

DISCIPLINE

I can say with untainted accuracy that we were the last generation of children that had respect for elderly people. We also respected out teachers and obeyed their commands without complaint.

In fact we were disciplined and our level of morality was high. I could only say this when I compare the past with the present deterioration of morality among the youth.

CALLIGRAPHY (WRITING COMPETITIONS)

At the middle school we had handwriting competitions. We had a special exercise book for writing and each time the pupil with the most beautiful handwriting would be announced by the teacher.

This in fact made each of us acquire very beautiful handwritings.

THE POST OFFICE

Around 1963, the Post Office was the centre of communication activities as well as a savings bank. One could not communicate with another in a distant town without going to the post office. The main activities as I saw it at the Asuboi post office were:

  • Acceptance of money into a Savings Bank account.
  • Transfer and payment of money through Postal and Money Orders.
  • Posting and receiving of letters.
  • Sending and receiving telegram which was the quickest and the most effective way of sending urgent messages.
  • Parcel deliveries.

THE ROYAL MAIL TRUCK

This was a Morris truck that brought mails from Accra and took away those mails going elsewhere.

It was painted red and had the inscription GHANA MAIL which was hitherto known as ROYAL MAIL and pronounced ra-mei.  If I was asked to name a machine apart from the clock itself, which had a motion that synchronized with time, I would point to the Royal Mail. People knew the time by its arrival. Anytime it reached Asuboi it was 11.30 am. It was never more than 5 minutes late or fast. I congratulate those workers posthumously for working strictly according to time.

LAST DAY AT THE FORM 4

The last day at Form 4 was a memorable one. It was a mixture of both happy and sad feelings. Some of the bigger boys went drinking, saying they had completed the first part of life and were going to face what the world had for them. It was really emotional. The happiness stemmed from the thought of leaving for good all those unpleasant moments in school life, like being disciplined always and working difficult maths every morning. Many of us feared maths the way I fear a snake.

SECONDARY SCHOOL

Normally those who wanted to attend secondary school wrote the Common Entrance examination in Forms 2 and 3. When you reached Form 4 you had gone beyond the opportunity of attending Secondary school. In my case Form 4 pupils were allowed to write the Common Entrance examination in 1963 and that opportunity ushered me into the Odorgonno Secondary School at Accra that same year.

TRAVEL BY TRAIN

                                                                   Travel by train

The railway system is one area which had the past better than the present. Though I am not doing comparisons I feel I must mention this particular area which has sadly deteriorated to an almost a non-existent railway system in Ghana.

In 1963 one could decide to travel by train from Accra to Kumasi or Takoradi for guaranteed safety. There were also travel options to choose from. For example, the night sleeper, the express and the normal passenger were all options one could decide to travel with. On the normal passenger train there were classes, like it was in the Titanic, the 1st Class, the 2nd class and the 3rd class, to suit all pockets. Now, even there are no rail lines on which coaches could run.

GHANA BROADCASTING CORPORATION

The GBC was the only broadcasting organization. There was no FM or other private or public stations.

It had 3 main channels, GBC 1, GBC 2 and the external service. There were rediffusion boxes at bus stops and other public places. Rediffusion boxes were radio transmission receivers which were available across the country.

When my father was away I would switch his radio to GBC 2 because I wanted to listen to music and when he was around he would switch to GBC 1 because he wanted to hear news and adult programs.

WHAT’S ON AT THE CINEMAS

This heading was what advertised names of movies that were to be shown daily in the Daily Graphic newspaper. The movie industry was monopolized by a businessman named K. Captan who owned cinema houses across the country.

Patronage for the movie industry was high as television was then coming into the system. A week-end without attendance at the movies made me fall sick.

Movies on show at the time were mostly Roman films, American Cowboy films and Indian films. With television when you watched a film alone at home it was less interesting than watching the same film with a group of people at a movie house.

CONCLUSION

I might not have remembered all the important details that might interest you but this is how far my memory can serve me now.

Looking back 54 years ago, I realize that by grace of the Almighty God I am growing older.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO GROW PHYSICALLY & SPIRITUALLY STRONG IN OLD AGE

                                   An Old Man

Before you grew to an old age you were young, and whilst young you probably forgot your Creator.

‘’Remember your Creator in the days of your youth before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, I find no pleasure in them’. –Ecclesiastes 12: 1.
The days of trouble refer to the days of your old age when you will not have the same strength of your youthful days. You will be in trouble because you can neither move nor do things on your own.

In one of my previous posts I postulated that if you are 60 years and above and do not have a good religion, or do not know God it follows that you have no hope. You just came to wander in this wide and wild wilderness without any hope of finding a shade or salvation or restitution. You are just like chaff blown around by the wind.

Myanmar, Shan State, Near Heho, peasant women harvest wheat separating the chaff from the straw.

If you are getting to old age certain factors shall account for your good health and longevity. Some of them are listed below.

Good diet.
This undoubtedly is the most important factor to keep you living longer. You must know the right kinds of food that is good for your age because you may not need the same type of food as 18year-olds and may need to abstain from fatty and salty foods.

Mild exercise.
Even if you are old you need some mild exercise like walking and stretching for a few minutes daily. Exercise is good to keep your heart in good condition.

Green environment.
You do not have to remain in the noisy city all your life. You need some serene atmosphere to give you some peace at this time of your life. Hope you read my previous article.

• Regular Health Check
It is necessary to have your health status checked regularly so that any anomalies can be detected in good time to take preventive measures.

Stress-free Life
This is another important factor in the lives of older persons. Stress leads to hypertension which is a high risk killer of aged people. Where possible you should as much as possible lead a life free from stress. This involves having some money on you to take care of personal nitty-gritty without always having to depend on your children and other family members for support.

USUALLY FORGOTTEN FACTOR
All the above factors and are essential for your physical well-being as an aged person, but the usually forgotten factor is the spiritual factor. It is very important to be aware of the spiritual factor which is your personal experience with the God of creation.
It is about how you view your purpose on this earth and how you go about achieving that purpose via your contact with a greater being.

You might  be a man who never prayed to God for anything because you have more than enough of material things for your existence. If it so, you may lack the spiritual connection, and there is no link between you and God. But it will be sad for you to be content with only the material gains of this world and loose the spiritual one which is more important.

                       A Wealthy man

The Apostle Paul spoke of God’s secret wisdom when God revealed to them by His Spirit and it is written,
‘’no eye has seen, no ear heard, no mind conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.’’ – 1 Corinthians 2: 9

NEGATIVE FORMS
There are negative forms of spirituality which are based on devil worship as opposed to divine worship.
It marveled me when I first read that there are human beings on this earth who worship Satan the way Christians worship Jehovah. I was doing a research on a topic related to Spiritual worship when I read this. That could also be called divine worship since they worship a being greater than themselves.

                                            Devil Worship

You may be a voodoo man or a magician or something else and be ranked high in the negative realms of spirituality.
In this context here, we are referring to divinity of God the Creator.

As stated above if you are above 60 years and are non-spiritual you lose the spiritual aspect of strength for your survival. You cannot wean yourself from God ‘’who took you out from your mother’s womb’’ and made you who you are, whether rich or poor, young or old. – Psalm 71: 6.

You need God’s protection, strength and wisdom at this time than you have ever needed in all your life. The psalmist was aware of this when he prayed to God and said ‘’Do not cast me off in time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength fails.’’

                                                    Protection Shield

This is the time your strength will actually fail you. You will not have the same strength to do the strenuous things you were doing and still wish to do. Your strength shall sap and be making constant attempts to leave you for good, making you feel weaker and weaker. You have to draw nearer to God to give you both physical and spiritual strength.

By having spiritual strength you will be able to discern things in spirit and be able to advise your children, grandchildren and others of the younger generation about how to lead their lives in more meaningful ways. At least that is what is expected of you in old age.

‘’Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, do not forsake me until I declare your strength to this generation.’’ Psalm 71: 18

                                                Old and gray headed

What do you make of this prayer? Shall it be relevant to you too or are mere words in the Bible? It sincerely means if you desert God He can forsake you in your old age.

The Lord can forsake you if you forsake Him or do things contrary to His will. When Saul, King of Israel violated the Lord’s command, Samuel, a prophet of the Lord told him ‘’you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you as King over Israel.’’- 1 Samuel 15:26
The Lord remains the same always. What He did yesterday, He can do the same thing today and tomorrow.

To conclude this short post I like to quote a scripture passage from the New International version of the New Testament. It may give you something to think about.

‘’Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
The mind of sinful man is death but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. – Romans 8: 5-8.

If the spirit of unbelief resides in you, you will not regard the Words of God quoted in this post because they will be foolishness to your unbelieving heart. His word has already stated that.

I pray that whoever reads this post gets wiser and spiritually and physically stronger as he/she grows older.

Thank you and stay blessed!

HOW TO AVOID THE FEAR OF AGEING

  In my post published on this site on the 7th October, 2016 titled ‘’HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR PHOBIAS’’, I listed 19 phobias and showed how to overcome them. But that was a superficial narrative.

Today I have chosen to write more extensively on gerascophobia because it is very relevant to you as you grow older.

I learn a lot by observing things, lifestyles and movements as well as human behavior and weather patterns; things that can be learned simply by observing nature rather than those that take 20 or more years of research to know.

I have made the following observation, among others:

AGE IS SECRET NUMBER

In my part of the world people do not want others to know of their age. Age is a secret number which must not be uncovered. I have seen and heard people wish others happy birthdays but have never heard ages mentioned. Those who celebrate their birthdays never mention their ages to people. Even at birthday parties it is just ‘’happy birthday to you’’ and never ‘’happy birthday to you on your 25th birthday anniversary.’’  Birthday wishes sent via the radio remain the same. Always the number is missing out.

abstract colorful happy birthday card vector illustration

People never mention their real age. This is very common among those seeking for jobs and especially among footballers. There is something they call football age; that is under-declared age.

Have you ever watched a tournament of the FIFA under 17 World Cup? In the past you could see some bearded young men of 21 and above presenting themselves as teenagers of 17 years or less to play for their countries. This led the FIFA to later take stern measures against this bad practice.

                                                    FIFA under 17 World Cup team

I read the profile of a friend on Facebook. He had quoted some ridiculous date as his date of birth. I laughed whilst reading it and told myself that he only had to fill the space with something but not to show his real date. It was not a matter of not knowing the actual date; he just won’t state the correct one.

People do not want others to know how young or old they are. They simply fear being found to be old.

If there was a natural way people could cut down their ages more people would have preferred to do that and stay alive forever.

WOMEN’S MAKEUP

Between men and women, the latter like to look young forever. But in actual fact they look older than men with whom they have the same age. That is why they always wear a makeup to cover what I don’t even know, may be wrinkles? The purpose of all the makeup is to look younger and beautiful, simply that. In fact my observations also lead me to believe that some women do not have beauty without a makeup.

Closeup portrait of a woman applying dry cosmetic tonal foundation on the face using makeup brush.

It has been admitted on www.broccolify.com that even the most attractive women use a little of makeup though nothing can be better than natural beauty. It’s only that contemporary girls have gone crazy about makeup.

Some celebrities and rich women do not like their natural faces and where makeup cannot cover the facial skin to give it the face lift they desire, they will go to the extent of changing the facial look through plastic surgery. Unfortunately not all plastic surgeries turn out beautiful faces. The face could turn out to be like that of a cat. I have ever seen a human being with the face of a cat on the internet. It wasn’t a photo-shop manipulation but the real face of a woman.

FEAR OF BEING CALLED OLD LADY

I remember an incident that took place a couple of years back. A friend and I were walking behind a middle-aged woman when we came upon two teenagers playing ball on a road. Then one boy told the other to stop playing to allow the old lady to pass.

Upon hearing old lady the woman turned furiously against the boy and rained insults on him for calling her old lady. She asked the boy if she was the one who borne his mother.

My friend and I were surprised at the behavior of the woman and immediately formed an opinion about elderly women which I am sharing with you today.

                                                              A middle-aged woman

Being referred to as old lady hurt her because she thought she was far from being an old lady. She enjoyed being young and detested any connection with being old. Looking at her, from our point of view, the boy was right in calling her so.

PSYCHOLOGICAL FEAR

If you did not read my post referred to above you may not know the sickness called gerascophobia. The heading of this post has already explained it. It is the fear of growing old; the fear of ageing, a psychological and not an actual medical condition.

All my above observations attest to the fact that some people dread growing old and will do whatever they can to avoid it.

But is it reasonable to entertain the fear of ageing?

When you hide your real age and continue to be in a government office as a worker, you delay your retirement age, thereby frustrating the younger ones from getting employed to replace you. You also feel weaker for your declared age.

This time the demand for birth certificates is a requirement for many jobs to avoid the declaration of football age.

It is worthy to note that dying is part of life cycle. You can die at anytime whilst you are young. If not, you will grow old and then, die. If you fail to accept this fact you will always run away from your real age, an age which you have genuinely grown to reach.

Let nature follow its natural course to bring equilibrium in the universe.

It is a worthless venture trying to expand your life span even if that is possible. It is a wasteful and meaningless effort that rather adds stress to your ability to accept ageing. Nature has already programmed everything into your system. After a certain number of years your cells stop replacing themselves. When replacement ceases you are dead and can’t do anything about it.

VIEW FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

Let me view the situation from the perspective of the gerascophobics. May be their societies do not respect aged persons, or frown upon them or look down upon them as a bore to the societies.

How does your society treat their aged? Bad treatment and disrespect from the youth could be a big factor for running away from your age if you’re one of them. This creates a negative view of ageing in a society where the focus is on only the youth. No homes to care for the aged? No funds from authorities to support them financially and health wise? Looks like a curse to grow to an old age?

In such a society gerascophobics may be right in fearing their own age.

GUANS

Let me take you to a society which holds their aged in high esteem. Among the Guans in the eastern region of Ghana, the elderly are accorded due respect. A home without an old man or woman is not fully regarded as a home where the youth get good advice and good training.

Old age is a blessing to the family. The aged people advice the youth to be respectful and courteous. They are a source of the youth’s inspiration.

On the other hand if a parent grows old her children request her to be taken home to be cared for where they come in turns to care for the aged parent who no longer works. They try to provide all the necessities required to look after the old person.

When death comes they are given a fitting burial.

There are a few private homes for the aged in Ghana. According to the Proprietor of a private nursing care home for the aged on the Spintex Road in Accra, majority of the aged are abandoned by their relatives.

Several factors may be responsible for this state of affairs but I am not writing about that now.

In spite of the above it’s only good to be your natural self at your natural age. The football age will put pressure on you when you need to retire but can’t.

In spite of all the difficulties associated, there is dignity in growing old.

FOUND! SECRETS FOR GROWING OLDER

I have found some secrets for growing older. Living in a botanical environment free of dirt and dust, pollution and noise is an ideal environment for growing older as have contributed greatly to the ageing of a 101 year old man, who is still going strong.

                     A mountainous landscape

The old man who lives in a mountainous village in the Akuapem Central District in the eastern region of Ghana, and did not want to be identified told me in a conversation that the above, coupled with the consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits have contributed greatly to his good health and are the secrets for his old age.

         Vegetables and fruits

STORY FROM ISRAEL

I was told a similar story by a Ghanaian journalist who traveled to Israel in or around the year 2010. He had the opportunity to travel to a rural area in Israel and learnt that the residents of the area lived mainly on fruits and special vegetables. They did not consume meat of any kind or drank alcohol. He learnt that by that lifestyle, for the previous 40 years there had been no death in the area.

Upon much thought about my old man’s story which I have collaborated to that of the media man, I have concluded that the two stories have some things in common and can conveniently form the basis of my post for today. I have therefore chosen to share these secrets with you today.

Not all people live in mountainous areas or on flat plains or in forest areas or in temperate zones. People are born in different places on this earth and where one is born is normally where one is brought up and usually lives.

There are also people who are born somewhere but live the rest of their lives somewhere else due to a variety of reasons.

People migrate to find jobs and it is not just for the pleasure of travelling, no. It is due to the location of industries and availability of jobs.

Immigrants travelling to find jobs

No country in the world has an even distribution of industries across its length and breadth, so a lot of people migrate from their countryside to cities where most industries are sited in search of jobs to earn a living. This factor makes cities more populated and bring with it accompanying problems.

THE NEED TO WORK

Of course one cannot live all his life at one location. You can’t remain up the mountains all the while if you are the grandson of the old man. It could be a bore so travelling is good.

Travelling makes you see what other places look like and how other people live their lives. Some travel across continents to seek greener pastures and learn great lessons from their travelling experiences. Others come from more advanced countries to the less advanced for the purpose of working or learning about different cultures and exotic things.

So whilst you are young you must find work to do. Whether you have to travel or not you have to work and it’s going to take you some 40 -50 years of hard work before you have some rest.

                             You must work

During these 50 or so years you will pass through most of the city’s negative experiences if you live your working life in one of the cities around the world. You know, not all cities are nice and clean.

 

                                         Modern city

NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES

What do I call negative experiences?

They are the disadvantages that come with living in the city like:

  • Breathing polluted air. Exhaust fumes from vehicle engines, industrial waste and scent from filthy gutters and garbage dumps all add up to pollute the air. Those who work close to motorways and main lorry roads are much at risk as they inhale small amounts of carbon monoxide daily.

To make some reference on this issue there were two separate incidents of death in Ghana in 2016 in connection with the breathing of polluted air. Both cases involved electric generators which were switched on in enclosed spaces where people slept, and breathing the fumes emitted by the machines resulted in the death of a total of 5 persons in two different nights.

  • Crime ridden. You can fall a victim to the activities of pickpockets or thieves or armed robbers at one point in your life.
  • Too much traffic. There is nothing more frustrating than having to be at a place at a scheduled time and be held up in traffic that moves at a snail pace. It adds to stress.
  • Too much noise. There is too much noise in the cities that disturbs your eardrums and subsequently your peace of mind.
  • Overcrowding. Due to influx of migrants and other visitors cities are always overcrowded.
  • City residents are unhelpful. They lack personal relationship with others. Each one is busily struggling for survival and there’s no time to stop and look at a neighbor. In some places one may not attend a social function of his next door neighbor.
  • By their nature cities are deficient in natural features. Open spaces are often encroached upon, especially in African cities.

                      Kintampo Waterfalls, Ghana

 

POSITIVE SIDE

 

Cities have very strong positive sides that make residents proud of living in them but I am not going to enumerate them. Most residents are used to the luxuries of city life that any change like the one I am proposing is mere nonsense to them. But those who want to grow older must pay attention to my sensible nonsense.

NEW PHASE OF LIFE

After having passed through a lot of the above negative sides, when you go on retirement it is better to change your place of residence so that you enter an entirely new phase of life with the hope of growing older.

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                      Enjoying retirement

From my conversation with the old man coupled with my remembrance of the Israeli story I have made the following recommendations for your consideration, whether you are young or old because the young shall grow too.

  • RELOCATE TO THE COUNTRYSIDE

After spending about 40-50 years working in the city or elsewhere you must go on retirement and relocate to the countryside. The city is too noisy.

The reason is to get out of the hustle and bustle of city life and get a more serene environment to continue your life.

                                    A rural area

Build your house and live in an environment which has more of plants and trees, or just plant a lot of flowering plants around your house. By a process called photosynthesis plant leaves use sunlight to carry out a chemical reaction using carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (to manufacture plant food) and in the end produce enough oxygen back into the same atmosphere.

So when you are in such environment you have pure oxygen to breathe to heal every ailment that lurks around in your system. I hope you know that in hospitals special oxygen is administered to some patients who go into coma, or whose condition are critical, to help revive them.

By the photosynthesis process, carbon dioxide is used up thus purifying the air around and you breathe good, fresh air capable of prolonging your life.

Have you ever taken a stroll in any area with plenty of trees? Did you notice the coolness and freshness of the atmosphere, especially those of you in the tropics? There are some plants which emit sweet scent form their leaves or flowers to the surrounding atmosphere. That produces a sweet air and a refreshing environment that is irresistible to leave behind.

                    Aburi Botanical Gardens, Ghana

If you have never had this experience, try it for yourself. You can travel to the Aburi Botanical Gardens or the Bunso Arboretum both in the Eastern Region of Ghana to have this unique experience.  Botanical gardens are maintained at other places around the world.

  • EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Most of our sicknesses come from the food we eat. When we eat the wrong kinds of food the result is sickness. I learnt this from a Pathologist when he was advising people about health issues and factors that accelerate death, on a radio program and have kept it in my coconut ever since.

I remember he cautioned about consumption of oily and junk foods that had no vitamins in them.

My old man rarely got sick. That means he wasn’t eating any wrong foods to fall sick. He said he ate lots of fruits and vegetables. I don’t know how he prepared them but that was not my cup of tea.

                                         Fruits

I am not a dietician and can’t give guidelines on what types of food to eat or what ones to avoid eating at this instant. All that I am interested in telling you now is to take a cue from my old man to avoid eating junk food and remember to eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. They possess a lot of vitamins needed by the body for its maintenance and defense systems.

Older persons (60 and above) have to be mindful of their diet because of subtle changes in their bodies.

City residents may not have access to fresh green leaves due to transportation and delivery delays but it may not always be so. Same day deliveries from farms are possible.

CONCLUSION

I conclude this post by repeating the 2 things which I have mentioned all along and termed as secrets because people have a penchant to know what secrets are.

  • Live in a house with plenty of plants around it. If there are no plants, plant plants.
  • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and avoid junk foods that will get you sick.

These shall help you to grow older with strength and vitality. Those who don’t know must learn from those who know.

CONSULTANCY SERVICES ON www.ugrowingolder.com

Ugrowingolder.com is a blogging website dedicated to educating both young and old people about some of life’s issues and how they may grow older in wisdom. In rendering this Consultancy services it has become imperative to get closer to readers by taking more realistic steps to provide solutions to individual problems.

In line with this direction this site has also developed a problem solving approach to interact with its readers.

Individual problems are numerous and diverse and this site can’t claim to have solution to every problem.

Specific areas have therefore been listed below from which solutions to problems arising from there could be given.

  1. 1. Counseling/Guidance on Courtship

Courtship is the time of life when a young person becomes particularly interested in someone of the opposite sex. During such a time there is great attraction for each other and life seems glamorous.

Handled wisely, courtship sets the pace for an ideal experience in marriage. But if it is enjoyed only for the thrills of the present experience, it can lead to disappointment and heartbreak.

Young people in courtship are encouraged to seek guidance here for tips that can lead them to the ideal experience in their marriage.

 

  1. Marriage Education

It has become increasingly necessary for young people who desire to marry to acquire some rudimentary knowledge about it first and foremost. I do not know of any place in the world where there is a formal school for learning about marriage in order to qualify for it, but the rate of divorce in Ghana and other parts of the world suggests that something very important is skipped before people marry. That is why marriage counseling is important since it provides young couples with the road-map to marriage and what to expect in it and how to handle unforeseen problems when they arrive.

You can request for specific or general advice from here.

 

  1. Advice on Relationship Issues

Do you have a special liking for someone? The person may or may not be your lover but let’s take someone you love. You love the person but have probably not been able to approach him/her due to one or two reasons. Tell me about it. I shall give you the guidance, or do it for you.

Then also you admire someone very much but not necessarily for love. May be there is an issue which is likely to spoil your admiration for him/her or, the issue is likely to spoil the person’s relationship with you. Is the issue bothering your mind? If so, just drop me a line. We shall solve it.

 

  1. Advice on Family Issues

This is almost the same as 3 above except that it involves family issues where one family member is not treating another well, or some father has neglected his responsibility towards his children, or a child is becoming increasingly stubborn and parents are frustrated.

Are you facing any problem from a member of your family that’s giving you sleepless nights? Just contact me with the details. You will help me to solve it for you.

 

  1. Advice on Moral Issues

Moral issues are matters of honesty and uprightness. If someone has a moral problem he/she is not able to distinguish between right and wrong and mostly does what is questionable. Is somebody not seeing his/her way clear about some issue?

 

  1. Guidance on Careers

Choosing a career in modern times need a careful consideration of how fast your country is developing and in what field, for e.g. technology, agriculture, commerce or manufacturing.

If you choose for example, fishing-at-sea whilst your country is land locked and the government focuses on planting of yams, you are going to be redundant for the time the government decides to shift to fishing unless you adapt yourself to another field to survive.

Everybody has a choice and you can go with yours unless you come to the y-junction and need direction.

 

  1. Advice on General Problems in Life

This is very wide and you may not know exactly what this implies. Well if you have a problem of any kind simply let me know. If it’s not my field I may redirect you to the exact place you will get help. Feel free to contact me.

  1. Advocacy

I am not going to the Courts to do advocacy. What I mean is simply this. If you have wronged someone and need to beg for forgiveness, just channel it through me to do it for you if you feel you need someone to act on your behalf.

 

  1. Guidance on Growing Older in Wisdom

Read most of the posts on this site and you will grow wiser as you grow older.

Keep reading new posts on this site from week to week.

 

MY CONTACT

Name: Ebenezer Awuah

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 27, Nungua-Accra, Ghana.

Email: [email protected]; [email protected]

Tel/WhatsApp No: +233 243 074 011

 

SERVICES

All advice shall be given for free up to 31st January, 2017.

From 1st February, 2017 a token fee of GHC 5.00 shall be paid to MTN Mobile Money account No. 0243074011 before replies are sent to you.

Mode of Communication in order of preference:

  1. Email
  2. SMS or Whatsapp
  3. Telephone
  4. Letter

 

HOW TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE AS YOU GROW OLDER


As you keep growing older every passing day have you ever taken the trouble to find out who you really are? Of course you know who you are by your name, where and when you were born and your parents’ ethnic background and probably your tribal history. But that is not all.

Knowing all of the above is good but not sufficient to know yourself. You really need to know a lot more than the above to know yourself well.

Whether you are 15 or 50 years, 18 or 80 and 19 or 90, you are growing older and need to know thyself.

 

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                                                              Know thyself

There are few things that make you unique among all people, things that make you different from all others, things that make you stand out. It’s not about a bottle of Guinness stout.

May be you have a long nose or red eyes, may be you are tall or very, very short with a special liking for blonde women or those with big boobs with an intention to marry one at all costs.

 

May be you are a fat woman that enjoys being called Mama Thick and have a special liking for afternoon nap. Whilst all these contribute to making you special, a few other things also make you unique.

Your past record of events may be similar to but not exactly like anyone else’s. The grooves on your fingerprints could be similar to but not exactly like anyone else’s. There are a few more things that yours are quite distinct from the rest of people in the world.

In knowing yourself better you can look at yourself from three different perspectives to have a more recognizable view.

PHYSICAL

Your physical self is how your physical body looks, i.e. how your son will describe your appearance to his teacher in an essay class, like the long nose and the red eyes with probably a protruding stomach due to lack of exercise.

Sometimes by accident you may have a defect in some part of your body and it is simple for you to be described and recognized by that defect.

Do you know that there are billions of people worldwide but apart from identical twins no two people have the same facial look? Most are similar but not exactly the same.

 

                                                            Identical twins

A lot of women that stay behind my house like to change their physical appearance by changing their skin color the way a chameleon does.

 

                                                          A chameleon

I am familiar with one short lady. Sometimes she appears faded black, other times she appears fair and at other times somewhat between violet and a color I can’t easily identify. Sometimes the color of her face is different from the rest of her body.

At a particular time both her face and body appear brown and that is it. Describe her as the brown short lady with chameleon characteristics and everybody including herself, know who that is.

SOCIAL

Your social self is how you interact with other people and how you relate to others in your family set up.

Are you an introvert or extrovert? You probably don’t know yourself or you are not sure which one describes your personality type.

As an introvert you may feel more comfortable doing things or solving problems on your own rather than doing it in the company of others. You don’t see anything good with joining groups or associations for business or for fun and think you’re better off and happier on your own. Your interaction with groupings like students or church congregation is brief and may not even like to take part in a group visit to the Victoria Falls.

 

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                                            Aerial view of the Victoria Falls

You think your good manners may be corrupted by being in the company of others and will advice your children not to make friends.

                                    An introvert in a natural environment

Being on your own always feels natural for you. You are not concerned with what others do or say or what happens to them. You are self-centered. At my former school where boys will give a name to everything under the sun they may simply call you ‘’anti-so’’, that is the abridged form of anti-social.

By contrast are you concerned about others and mix freely with people?

Are you outgoing and have a little bit of humor under your armpit.

Do you enjoy working with others and like to show your brighter side in solving problems?

Are you energized by the presence of people and always like to be the centre of attraction or the cynosure of all eyes?

I once ushered a singer to the stage where he was going to perform. The audience had been waiting at the theatre for over one hour before we arrived. Immediately we arrived he began clapping his hands in a rhythmic way with most of the audience, some of whom were getting frustrated by his late arrival, joining the clapping of hands spontaneously.

Some ten years ago I was staying at an Accra suburb close to the new Kwame Nkrumah Interchange.  There was one guy everybody around would come and listen to every Sunday morning in front of my house. The guy seemed to know everything in this world.

He would talk about the latest political events in the USA, the latest developments in European football; which country would win the next world cup and what political turmoil ran inside the FIFA, and which political party would win the next elections in Ghana.

He spoke with such authority such that we sometimes wondered how he got informed so vividly. When he spoke everybody would listen attentively to him.

That is the disposition of some extroverts. They can talk a lot, and lie at times.

FAMILY

                                                     A family set up

Knowing your social self includes knowing the variety of roles you play within your family set-up. In the family you are someone’s father or mother, another’s uncle or aunt, yet another’s brother or sister or grandfather or grandmother.

How effectively do you play the role of a father? Are you one who honors his responsibilities or forsakes them? Being a good father comes with responsibilities for feeding, training and educating your children.

How do treat your nephews and nieces? Do they call you a good uncle or they don’t even know you? Do you care for them or you are concerned about only your own children?

Can your brothers and sisters approach you with their problems or yours is a European style family where each one cares for himself? Of course it doesn’t mean caring on a day-to-day basis but offering a helping hand in time of need.

The final perspective from where you can know yourself well is your personal opinion about yourself.

People know you from the outside. Their opinion about you is how they see your behavior and rate you. On the other hand your personal opinion about your inner self could be a little bit different. You might not have had the chance to react to certain situations which are not to your liking in the presence of people who have already rated you. You could have reacted violently in a situation in which you remained calm or the other way round. It is your core-self which is that private part of yourself no one knows about except you.

It consists of your innermost thoughts and experiences that people do not know and you may or may not share with them.

You may have a low esteem of yourself either because you have met a life of many failures or have a low level of education that is not helping your progress in life. But understand that to have failure in one area doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in another area.

Sometimes what people say about you may have an impact on how you think about yourself. Positive praises livens your spirit up and give you encouragement whilst negative ones bug you down. It is natural to feel so but in all circumstances recognize that you should be happy, and celebrate any accomplishment if you have any, because you are the only person who can understand who you truly are.

Other people’s opinions about you could be right or wrong and does not matter much unless an opinion is purposely formed to tarnish your image.

An example of a wrong opinion is the following situation:

A young lady was asked by another lady who had arrived home from abroad to meet her at a place near the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange at Accra to collect some items which had been sent through her. Whist waiting for the lady from abroad a neighbor passed by and saw the lady standing near a place prostitutes ply their trade and quickly formed an opinion that the lady was practicing prostitution.

In the above example if the neighbor expresses his opinion to others who know the lady they will know that he has a wrong opinion of her.

                                 Aerial view of Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, Accra

YOUR REACTION TO SITUATIONS

How do you react to situations when they don’t favor you? There are several ways to react to a situation when it is not to your liking. You can either take an action to reverse or change the situation if possible or allow time to pass for the situation to change itself. It all depends upon circumstances of the particular situation.

If you are an impatient person you are easily irritated and always rush to do things. You have no time to entertain delays and wish things always go your way but will not always get it that way.

 

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                                                     An impatient person

The patient person is always cool and can tolerate a lot of nonsense which the impatient person cannot tolerate. Both dispositions have their merits and demerits.

It is always imperative to understand that you should not do anything to inconvenience your neighbor. If you accidentally step on your neighbor’s foot, a little sorry you say will put matters to rest instead of asking him why he put his foot on the road.

The important thing is to always act with decorum in all circumstances to show your maturity as you grow older.