Wisdom Of Age

AnnieLennox2Annie Lennox turned 60 on December 25, 2014. Here’s an interview she did 3 months prior, on September 25:

Q&A: Annie Lennox On Her Legacy, Why Beyonce Is ‘Feminist Lite’

This part stood out for me:

Just because I’m almost 60 now, it doesn’t mean that I’m less passionate or less intensely curious about the world around me. In fact, I’m even more curious about it in another kind of way.

There’s this youth culture that is really, really powerful and really, really strong, but what it does is it really discards people once they reach a certain age. I actually think that people are so powerful and interesting – women, especially – when they reach my age. We’ve got so much to say, but popular culture is so reductive that we just talk about whether we’ve got wrinkles, or whether we’ve put on weight or lost weight, or whether we’ve changed our hair style. I just find that so shallow.

I like what she says, that popular culture is a youth culture, and so, is reductive in nature. It fails to see the depth and breath of how things work, of life. And it discards people at a time when they are best able to provide that depth.

When I read Dr. Campbell’s book, Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, I thought that it couldn’t have been written by someone younger, or even by him in his younger days. It was a unique composite of all the questions he asked in his lifetime, the answers and lessons, his experiences, failures, insights, curiosities, stubbornness. It’s not possible to see the whole if you’re immersed in a part, if you’re being, as Lennox says, reductive … a word Campbell used often in his book to describe, how can I say this, the limits of looking too closely. The limits of youth? But we have to be reductionist for a time, we have to study things, before we can appreciate the complexity and interconnectedness of those things. It’s a process. The young may have a market on strength, but the old have a market on wisdom.

Campbell was born in 1934; his book was published in 2014, so he would have been in his late 70s as he wrote it. He’s still writing.

Here’s Lennox when she was with the Eurythmics. The song was released in 1983 and became a big hit. Look at that computer!

Update: Speaking of Annie Lennox, she performed at the Grammy Awards last night. What energy!

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