Bearing Fruit Even In Old Age*
The strength of 80 is the wisdom that comes from experience and completion. Having run much of the course of life, having seen the follies and passions of the human heart rise and subside, having seen their own and their friends' dreams, limitations and achievements, an adult of 80 years is finally able to look at the human condition with compassion and some skepticism. At 80 years of age, we need no longer serve either passion or ambition.
Finally, at 80, we can review our life, taking stock of how those who cared for us as children paved our paths through life, for good or for ill.
In our youth, each one of us was cared for by someone older. As links in the chain of the generations, we also care for others who depend on us to transmit what they need to establish lives of purpose, accomplishment and belonging.
* Extracted from the "texts" section of the MyJewishLearning website - http://www.myjewishlearning.com/index.htm - where may be found the entire article written by Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles.