You are old, Father William

Father William Shows His Skills - an 1865 illustration by John Tenniel

“You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head —
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”
(Lewis Carroll – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

We were given a modern view of ageing by The Telegraph.
“If you are old and vulnerable, you are very sensible, you really do need to protect yourself, but the risks drop so much when you get younger.”  (The Telegraph 1 May 2020)

There you have it; a simple solution to the coronavirus crisis. The Telegraph is an English-language newspaper, published in an English-speaking country, so we must assume that they mean what they write. All we have to do is “get younger.” Unfortunately, The Telegraph, one of the UK’s older newspapers, founded as The Daily Telegraph in June 1855, is short on practicalities; it neglects to tell us how to get younger.

A more useful thought is provided by Debasish Mridha, an American physician, philosopher and author – “Every morning you are younger than you will ever be. Enjoy the day.”

Apart from coronavirus, there are many other advantages to be had from getting younger. So, what do we need to do? As a not-so-young person, a few ideas occur to me. As a start, we could act like members of the Knesset. We are often treated to displays of childish behaviour, shouting matches that would not be out of place in a schoolyard. Following the lead of our favourite Knesset members will knock years off our age.

Another example is the standard of interviews we see on our daily TV news. It takes but a few moments before the interviewer and the interviewee are both talking at the same time, with no thought for the viewers who cannot make out what they are saying. I have seen much the same level of conversation in a kindergarten, we could all adopt this technique to make us younger.

If we really want to get younger, we should change our driving habits. Young people’s driving differs significantly from us old folk. Unfortunately, this comes with a high mortality rate that is much above the average. The 18-20 year olds are involved in 6.6 road fatalities per 100,000 persons while the 21-24 year olds manage 8.9 per 100,000 persons. The national average is 4.2. Yes, driving like a crazy teenager will definitely make us younger, if we live long enough to enjoy it.

The Times of Israel publishes many Blogs, like the one you are reading now. If you take the time to read the comments you will often find a level of conversation that makes yah boo sucks look like an intellectual tour de force. (For non-British readers, yah boo sucks is a childish expression of derision or scorn.) So a quick, childish comment on this Blog will help you feel younger even if you don’t become any younger.

And as a last word of consolation to my less-than-young readers ……..

Youth Is Wasted on the Young
(George Bernard Shaw)

About the Author
The author has been living in Rehovot since making Aliya in 1970. A retired physicist, he divides his time between writing adventure novels, getting his sometimes unorthodox views on the world into print, and working in his garden. An enthusiastic skier and world traveller, the author has visited many countries. His first novels "Snow Job - a Len Palmer Mystery" and "Not My Job – a Second Len Palmer Mystery" are published for Amazon Kindle. The author is currently working on the third Len Palmer Mystery - "Do Your Job".
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