Mini-Bible-Philosophy-Worldview Study (15) Of The Day- On Dealing With Getting Older

Photograph Courtesy of Cristian Newman

Verse Of The Day

And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. (Isaiah 46:4)

Related Quotes

“All diseases run into one, old age.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Sometimes I think it would be easier to avoid old age, to die young, but then you’d never complete your life, would you? You’d never wholly know you.”- Marilyn Monroe

“How young can you die of old age?”- Steven Wright

Questions For Discussion

Who is the oldest person you know? What do you really know about their life?

Do you fear getting old, getting sick, or dying the most? Why?

If given good health, would you choose to live forever?

Bonus Verses

I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. (Job 32:7)

The hoary [grey] head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. (Proverbs 16:31)

That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. (Titus 2:2)

Commentary- On Old, Sore Bones And The Reality Of Ageing

Craig note- It ain’t easy getting old no matter where you live.

On Being Stiff

These days when I get out of bed I feel 100-years-old. My mattress is getting up in age. It does not help that I bought the equivalent of an American child-sized bed. Recently, there is a spring in the middle that jabs me in the back at night.

I could buy a new mattress.

But, I sleep only 2–3 hours a day.

That seems like a waste of money. Still, I am considering it after feeling stiffer than usual this week. But, my bed is not completely to blame for my aches and pains.

I am a youth soccer coach.

These days the practices are in full swing. I do my best to limit my running and playing. In the end, I always, always, always practice too hard with the kids. They love it when I play. But, those young folks are bouncing into school, and I’m limping to the train station the next day.

(Oh, what I would not give to be a kid again!)

It used to take only a day for me to bounce back and feel like my legs were not stiff as boards. Now, I am still feeling rather terrible, and the last soccer practice was three days ago.

Actually, I was so sore the other day I wanted my wife to drive me to my company. But, she refused.

And, I was angry.

It’s not her fault. She was busy. My wife, too, figures a 44-year-old man should be able to go to work alone.

And, she’s right.

I was able to make it to my company. Unfortunately, this morning I feel even worse as I prepare to head to my company again. This getting old stuff gets, well, old quick, fast, and in a hurry.

On Bending But Not Breaking Rules

My old, sore bones got me thinking about life in Japan. Long ago, I came to Japan. At that time, I remember being as flexible as possible.

I did everything at school that I was told to do. And, I followed every law, tradition, and custom. I was eager to make people happy.

And, I did.

Of course, the more experience I got living in Japan, I learned how to do things “The Real Japanese Way.”

There is this huge grey area that exists in most anything done daily by Japanese people.

It’s surreal at times.

Why just this morning I saw five cars run a red light while three people at a crosswalk waited for them to do so. Nobody said a word.

(Including me.)

That is difficult for many foreigners to understand.

In contrast, there are also a number of ironclad laws and rules in Japan one would never, ever, ever dream of breaking.

For example, you would never dare to bring drugs into Japan. That ends very badly. You can Google any number of stories about how that turns out for foreigners here.

On The Grey Areas In Life

Of course, most foreigners figure out the above types of extreme examples early in their time in Japan. It’s the more subtle stuff that gets folks. There are moments it bewilders even me after 15 plus years.

“Do I have to move if I am on the correct side of the sidewalk because someone is engrossed on their iPhone and about to hit me?”

I don’t move. But, my wife says I should.

“Do I have to stay late at work for free to make a good impression at my company and on my coworkers?”

I don’t stay late for free. But, my salarymen buddies at the bar all do it.

And, my favorite albeit at non-Japanese example: “Do I have to acknowledge or God-forbid talk to foreigners I don’t know when I see them out and about?”

I don’t.

But, many expats think I should.

It seems rude. And, it is at the very least impolite. But, I’ve learned the value of shutting out the world as I commute to and from my company. I am not alone in that.

I see many, many, many Japanese people with earbuds jammed in their ears or their eyes glued to cell phone screens. That used to boggle me to no end. It took me 15 plus years, but I get it.

People need a moment to call their own in life.

Sadly, the daily commute is the only solitude some folks here get.

There are no merit badges in Japan for being a social butterfly. It would be great if I had the energy or time to be Little Miss Mary Sunshine to every expat I encounter on the street.

But, I don’t.

And, I don’t expect anyone to be super friendly to me.

The truth is I am too busy worrying about a world full of “sticks and stones,” while walking around trying not to break my: “old, sore bones.”

Grey, Grizzled, and Gaijin

Mini-Bible-Philosophy-Worldview Study (14) Of The Day- On Getting Off The Wrong Lifepath

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Craig is a #writer, #editor, #betareader & #blogger. 2000+ #blog posts & seven #ebooks including #shortstories “The Tempo of Tempura” and “Carl Crapper.”

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Craig Hoffman

Craig Hoffman

Craig is a #writer, #editor, #betareader & #blogger. 2000+ #blog posts & seven #ebooks including #shortstories “The Tempo of Tempura” and “Carl Crapper.”

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