Posted at 00:00h
Written By Jessi Kohlhagen
It’s amazing how every memory -- every experience we’ve ever had -- is sewn into the very fabric of who we are.
Marks and moles, wrinkles and dimples, stiffness and softness, pounds gained and elasticity lost…
Every part of our physical being carries a unique memory on our timeline of moments gone by. We are living legends, and our bodies are our autobiographies.
When you really stop and think about it, aging is an extraordinary process; one that has been honored and celebrated throughout human history.
Nearly every indigenous culture in the world reveres and celebrates the process of aging. Old age has long been identified with wisdom and a closeness to God, and Native communities view the journey into elderhood as a sacred time when an individual has the most to offer their community, and the world.
Not surprisingly, these are the same communities that honor their intrinsic connection with the Earth, and seek to move in flow with the inevitable and beautiful cycles of Nature -- of Life, Death and everything in between.
Different cultures have different attitudes and practices surrounding aging and death, and these collective perspectives have an enormous impact on our experience of getting older.
The truth is, aging isn’t just a biological process -- it’s also a cultural one.
“While many cultures celebrate the aging process and venerate their elders, in Western cultures — where youth is fetishized and the elderly are commonly removed from the community and relegated to hospitals and nursing homes – aging can become a shameful experience. Physical signs of human aging tend to be regarded with distaste, and aging is often depicted in a negative light in popular culture, if it is even depicted at all.”
- The Huffington Post