The Beauty of Growing Old
Original title: A invenção de uma bela velhice
In recent years, the anthropologist Mirian Goldenberg has dedicated herself to studying aging among women and men. After more than 30 years of research, she took up the challenge of looking for ways to invent a beautiful old age. In The Beauty of Growing Old, Mirian shows that it is possible to experience the aging process with beauty, freedom, and happiness. Based on interviews and in-depth research, but without losing its accessibility for a lay audience, the book shows how to create a beautiful old age with simple tips on how to construct a life project and laugh a lot. Without offering maps, secrets, formulas, or recipes, the anthropologist dedicates each chapter of the book to developing the most important ideas about the positive aspects for achieving a beautiful old age (while still discussing the negative aspects): how to find a life project; seek the meaning of existence; value freedom; aspire to happiness; cultivate friendship; live in the present intensely; learn to say no; respect desires and truths; overcome fears and accept one’s own age.
For Mirian, “beautiful elderly people” need to find meaning for the last phase of their lives. Work is no longer a matter of material survival – they no longer need it, but they want to remain useful, active, and productive. A beautiful old age is the natural result of a “beautiful life project”, which can be constructed from an early age, or even later, by each one of us: today’s old people and tomorrow’s ones too.
- Originally published by Record (Brazil) in 2013, republished in a new and updated edition by Record (Brazil) in May 2021