In 2016, the World Health Organization created a global campaign to focus attention on stereotypes about aging and designated October 1 as “International Day of Older Persons.”
We don’t have to wait till October to correct popularly held ideas about getting older. Here’s a selection of quotes to acknowledge the changes that time brings and celebrate the gifts that this period in life can offer. As a philosopher once sang, “the silver lining’s got a touch of grey.”
Feel free to download any of the quote cards below and share them by email or on social media. Just right-click on the quote and select Save.
“If you are pining for youth I think it produces a stereotypical old man because you only live in memory, you live in a place that doesn’t exist. Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.” David Bowie
“I have made a rule about such things, which I commend to you, young man: As soon as you feel too old to do a thing, DO IT.” Margaret Deland, American author. From “The Awakening of Helena Richie.”
“There are six myths about old age: 1. That it’s a disease, a disaster. 2. That we are mindless. 3. That we are sexless. 4. That we are useless. 5. That we are powerless. 6. That we are all alike.” —Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Gray Panthers movement
“When it comes to aging, we’re held to a different standard than men. Some guy said to me: ‘Don’t you think you’re too old to sing rock n’ roll?’ I said: ‘You’d better check with Mick Jagger’.” Cher, from “Fifty on Fifty: Wisdom, Inspiration, and Reflections on Women’s Lives Well Lived”
“Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” Betty Friedan
“If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years on this planet, it’s that the happiest and most fulfilled people are those who devoted themselves to something bigger and more profound than merely their own self-interest.” John Glenn, in donating his personal and Senate papers to The Ohio State University in 1997 in order, he said, to encourage young people’s enthusiasm for public service.
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” Samuel Ullman
“When you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you…If you get to my age in life and nobody thinks well of you, I don’t care how big your bank account is, your life is a disaster. That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life.” —Warren Buffett, addressing Georgia Tech students who asked about his greatest success and failure.
“We live in a youth-obsessed culture that is constantly trying to tell us that if we are not young, and we’re not glowing, and we’re not hot, that we don’t matter. I refuse to let a system or a culture or a distorted view of reality tell me that I don’t matter. I know that only by owning who and what you are can you start to step into the fullness of life. Every year should be teaching us all something valuable. Whether you get the lesson is really up to you.” Oprah Winfrey, in “O, the Oprah Magazine” 2011
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw
“Don’t try to be young. Just open your mind. Stay interested in stuff. There are so many things I won’t live long enough to find out about, but I’m still curious about them. You know people who are already saying, ‘I’m going to be 30—oh, what am I going to do?’ Well, use that decade! Use them all!” Betty White
“My face carries all my memories. Why would I erase them?” Diane Von Furstenberg, from “The Woman I Wanted to Be,” 2014
“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” Frank Lloyd Wright
What’s your favorite quote?
Push yourself My late dad used to tell me to do that when I was old. For example, despite heart disease and angina he fastwalked, mowed his own lawn, etc. He had his fatal stroke actually when he was trying to get his new riding lawnmower to work! Today I fast walk a little and bike and do yoga and dance and mow my lawn and prune on six-foot ladders and lust after my sexy husband -no one is going to tell me how to age, I am going to decide that!
My dad had a brain bleed while push mowing our yard this fall. He almost made 97. Always active and with no known health conditions (mild to moderate dementia depending on the day), it was easy to think he was going to last forever. He had survived the depression, WWII, 4 months as a POW, prostate cancer, a stroke, babesiosis (21 pt blood exchange)…
He often said his secret was to “keep movng; don’t stop.”
Keep up the good work!
(unfortunately, I take after my mother!)
Some great quotes. Life for the young and the old is the same if you have no-one to love or if you are in constant pain. Without constant pain (we all need a little…) but with love, life can be a joy whether you are five or eighty-five!!
The longer I live the more I realize how wonderful getting better is in aging. The better I realize is the life in the years I live.
Such a sweet reminder of all the great people I am aging with—Our generation is so fortunate to be on the cutting edge of re-writing the myths of “Old Age”—I love Senior Planet—thanks Kathy for sending me the link a few years ago!
When I open my eyes I think this is going to be a beautiful day!
finding love when you are older is the most satisfying emotion. Sharing my love with another human being my age is a precious thing. My children have adult lives and children of their own. They are happy and pay attention to me, but having someone I love by my side is beautiful.
“Live gratefully each unrepeatable day.” Sometimes I’m just wasting time and I recall that saying and it kind of jump starts me into activity.
We still have so much to learn and see.
“Live gratefully each unrepeatable day” kind of jump starts me when I’m not paying attention to how blessed I am. I worked as a trauma nurse for several years and recalling how some people ended up living (alive and alert but paralyzed, that sort of thing) makes me get over whatever I’m grumbling about.
Yes, age is not senior.. It is a new milestone of our next year process . go to sweetly the days and enjoy the hours without thinking age.
Age is just a Reminder for numbering age.
I prefer the age of senior but think always in younger
Shan andres, India, 30.04.17 at 6.00 am
These are nice but last year I put 50 of the best positive aging quotes on my own blog that everyone might find helpful. I think reading them every now and then really reminds me of the benefits of aging. smartliving365.com/50-best-positive-aging-quotes-find/
Five hugs a day and lots of laughter keeps you young and everyone around you happy
At the risk of raining on the parade, I quote the late therapist/sociologist Lillian Rubin: “Old age sucks–always has, always will.”
No rain here my friend. I absolutely agree with you. And although I am sincerely trying to “embrace the positive,” so far, it just ain’t happening. To me, it’s all just another form of spin.
Youre right. All pain , failing eye sight, incurable disease, a mortgage, no money but ss and pitiful 1.6 percent cola. Senior housing that costs a fortune and limted senior transportation.
Any no body gives a shit !!!
Old age is a hell of a lot more fun than the alternative.
Here’s one for you: “Cougar?? I’m a f*cking snow leopard.”
When was the las time you got laid??
Snow leopard…yeah right
Even an old tree can spring new buds.
From my dear departed Mother: Age is just a number.
No one could tell it like it is better than my friend, Maggie Kuhn.
Growing old: “It sure beats the alternative”
RIGHT ON!!! @
“It’s better than the alternative.”
Now something new on my list of things to do, checking Senior Planet out. I like what I see.
I am 74 and every day I feel I need to learn something new, but I know I first have to finish what I have to do today, and I’m not doing that! Therefore I am lagging behind. If that is looking at the glass as half empty, I look forward to eventually getting caught up and I wake up every day with something to do! I prefer to look at the glass as half full. Not the best way but there is where I am.
Procrastination is the new Pilates.
Excellent! Great quotes from super sources.
All comments really touched my heart. I want to keep them highlighted in my life and practice them, so that I feel and be “Forever Young”.
the article i read thought me how to watch the
day can bring me a lesson if i took it consciously
With age comes knowledge. Good job senior planet.