A new compendium – The Upside of Aging by Paul H. Irving, President of the Milken Institute, covers a range of insights into humanity’s longevity evolution; a great starting point for any new student to the subject.
Everything covered here serves to provoke conversation more widely in your social or business circles; timely and comprehensive on topics included in the subtitle – health, work, innovation, policy and purpose.
Sixteen chapters make up the Upside, and over the next few posts, I’ll draw some reflections on only four. From the start let me suggest that one upside insight from reading any part of this collection is that, how we view the notions of progress or prosperity will need to change based on how we reset the vocabulary of longevity.
Appropriately in Part one, Opportunities and Innovations, Chapter 2 by gerontology professional Pinchas Cohen, begins with the notion of “personalized aging…no two of us travel through the world or our aging process in the same way.” This is for me a prime point of reflection. If the modern language of longevity is to be grasped, it first needs to be seen individually through the lens of opportunity.
In spite of endless research and dialogue on aging and longevity, for many people in disparate regions of the world there isn’t much room to discuss a foreseeable “upside” to aging when you consider the social upheaval, environmental and health challenges in their immediate life. Depending on your perch, is longevity a gift or a curse?