It’s Only Old Rockers And I Like Them!
Watching the 12-12-12 show last night, the term “70’s rock” received a whole new meaning, as several of the most impressive performers were in, or close to, their seventies!
And what a great show! Mick Jagger was running around like he always has, and if it were not for the close-ups, you would never have thought he was anything but a scrawny teenager… Roger Daltrey from the Who opened up his shirt to show a trim, tanned and scarred midsection and sang his heart out….
These guys (and many more… Paul McCartney…oh MAN) were proudly showing off that ageing in our time does not have to be about sitting back and taking it, or walking around dignified and bored on the golf course, or at the beach scanning for treasures hidden in the sand.
These guys just are who they are – yet have turned older. And owning it! No plastic surgery, as was obvious when the camera showed their faces on HD TV, the wrinkles like deep furrows making their faces look like train tracks had been ran across them.
Yet, the faces might be old, but they just don’t seem to care. And they are unapologetically still performing their hearts and souls out. Rockin’ it! Showing it! Bringing it!
Now, we do have some women role models in this area too…. we need many more!
I was just in the company of one such woman, who at 75 refuses to grow old: Jean Houston spoke passionately to those present of the notion that our options extend as we grow older. She said: “With the breath of life behind us, the depth is now at hand”.
The freedoms of what Jean calls “Second Maturity”, which in her definition starts at 75, are manifold. Here are some of the key points mentioned by Jean. This is when we claim ageing as a possibility and not as a curse:
We are free to be highly eccentric. We can release our capacities freely without fear.
We can seek spiritual development knowing subtleties of depth in ways that were not known before.
We can reconnect to the playful aspects of ourselves. Being child-like in wonder.
We can empower others from a place of goodwill – free from anxiety of constant competition.
We can deal wisely and creatively with the complexities of time.
And last night, as I watched people of all ages gather to watch multi-generational performers ROCK their socks off, this is one such example of what is possible: As the experiences of the sages are coupled with the playfulness and willingness to stay young, we have a powerful potential, for the young and old alike, to meet up and do some good for our world!
No longer stuck in depressed plasticly surgerized straight-jackets of insincerity, but claimed full on and authentically: Wrinkles, scars, grey hair and glasses – and still rocking and rolling like there is no tomorrow. Arms open towards the heavens taking it all in and sharing it boldly with our world.
And this also is a possibility for you and me. Instead of hiding our age – we can claim it proudly. Instead of acting as if we are dignified and demure – we can show the younger generations that we do not have to be stiff of mind and soft of flesh
Having lived through all the stages of each age, we can have spontaneous fun like the child we once were. We can embody the daring and idealistic teenager, we still carry inside. We can be responsible and thoughtful, strategic and visionary like the adult phase calls for. When we reach our “2nd maturity” (whenever that is for each of us) – we can be all of the above at choice…. whenever we want.
I loved seeing this multi-generational display of goodwill last night. This “beyond ageism” display of humanity helping humanity. And rocking the world while doing it!
If this is what old age looks, sounds and feels like – bring it on!