Aging and the Meaning of Time: A Multidisciplinary Exploration

Aging and the Meaning of Time: A Multidisciplinary Exploration

Aging and the Meaning of Time: A Multidisciplinary Exploration

Aging and the Meaning of Time: A Multidisciplinary Exploration

Synopsis

The authors, from diverse disciplines in gerontology, act as guides in the exploration of the realms of time in later life and its meanings. As the authors examine how the study of time can give new meanings to aging, they also consider the religious and spiritual questions raised when human beings consider the temporal boundaries of life.

Excerpt

Aging and the Meaning of Time is a book that provides an unusual window on contemporary culture, and the view is challenging to the reader. The scholars who have written the chapters of this book have many different vantage points from which to make wise comments about time and life.

We have produced a society that is marvelously efficient. Machines, computers, robots, and e-mail have made many things easier, yet a paradox emerges out of this marvelous efficiency. We are saving almost immeasurable amounts of time, yet the more we save, the more we feel the need for more time. We are breathless. People complain about the lack of time, and daily conversations revolve about the pressures of time to get work done, meet family needs, exercise, and relax with friends. It seems as though the twenty-first century is demanding more of us, and our minds have clocks with guilt-provoking hands pointing at us to remind us of our overflowing agendas.

The pressures of a high-tech society seem to create a bottom-line principle that we must continually seek to get more out of less time. This book suggests to me that we should take guilt-free breaks to reflect on who we are and the meaning of our time-stressed lives. It also arouses in me an interest in the lives of our ancestors. Did they experience time pressures in their lives in past centuries? Perhaps like them, we need a Sabbath on which to reflect on the meaning of time and the meaning of what we do. But would we even know what to do with a Sabbath?

This book explores many aspects of our growing up and growing old surrounded by clocks that distract us from considering the meaning of what we do with the time we have. As we read the chapters, our thoughts move from the guilty immediate to considering the . . .

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