Aging and Performance

oscar
3 min readSep 1, 2023
Photo by charlesdeluvio on Unsplash

Yesterday, Senator McConnell had another episode of going blank before the cameras as he answered questions from reporters. It’s happened in public at least once before.
During the spell, his brain stops taking in information or putting it out.
Surely he’s had expert medical attention already, undergone state of the art testing, and given the best advice.
And yet the senator — now 81 — has chosen to carry on with his duties. His term ends in January 2027.
I worry that he may have a stroke in front of the cameras. Worry that the stress the job carries will work against him and precipitate the stroke.
But they’re all adults in his team and they’ve weighed the pros and cons.
And then, maybe, the senator loves what he does so much, that he doesn’t want to give it up.
The advances in medicine keep extending our lives and we want even more of them.
And why not?
Who can speak with assurance that after our last heartbeat we’ll enter a different stage of being. If you’ve worked that out, good luck.
Senator Feinstein — at 90 — has had her share of ailments, too, and there she is, hanging on to her job. She’s up for reelection soon — her term ends in January 2025 — so the voters will have a say on the matter.
So why does she hang on to the job? Maybe she really loves what she does also.
Which brings me to President Biden, who’s now 80 and turns 81 on November 20.
He’s at risk of having any of the ailments that have afflicted McConnell and Feinstein.
But his body may prove stronger and he may have no significant illnesses, and instead sail through the remainder of this term and the next one without any major issues.
And that is what I wish for him and for our nation because he, definitely, loves what he is doing.
Biden has done a good job and will likely repeat his performance.
So let us be ready for the inevitable failings of age and ready for them to happen in prime time, when he’s in front of the cameras or in the middle of a world summit or in a G7 conference.
And not be ashamed of their occurrence.
Advanced age raises the unpredictability factor for all of us. But that doesn’t mean we should go into hiding.
The tremendous stress that comes with the job of president does not make it any easier.
I voted for Biden and will vote for him again.
We should not deny another human being, man or woman, their wish to push themselves as far as they want. Biden wants to be President again and he will likely get reelected. We…

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oscar

Writer and psychiatrist. Writing is thinking -> integrating -> connecting -> enhancing our being. Though we can think without writing.