Credit: Stuart Bradford
by Steven Petrow
“A few years ago at a college reunion, I listened transfixed as the silver-haired philanthropist David Rubenstein urged us “to accelerate” as we entered the last chapters of our lives. Pick up the pace? So many of my contemporaries were stopping — if not stooping — to smell the roses.
“With his admonition in mind, I recently spoke with Mr. Rubenstein, now 69, and asked him if he considers himself old. ‘Sixty-nine seems like a teenager to me,’ he replied. Coincidentally, just a few days earlier, a 68-year-old poet I know, in between surgeries to help her mend after a fall, told me point blank, ‘I am an old lady now.’
“What makes one sexagenarian identify as old when another doesn’t? And what is ‘old,’ anyway?”
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