Thursday, November 03, 2005

Minimizing the Pyramid Effect

As children, we are sponges. We notice many things, ask questions and have a wide interest in the world we experience. As we age we tend to narrow our interests. We’re expected to select a major, to specialize. If we’re not careful a problem surfaces in our later years. We become so narrow and limited that we can’t relate to the larger word. Like a pyramid, we begin with a wide range of interests and narrow to a point.

This was impressed upon me years ago during one of my “teachable moments.” I was having a conversation with a retired faculty member who realized the problem. He had read, taught and breathed theology. He said “I can’t talk with people anymore unless they can talk theology.” He died about two years ago with alzheimers.

I’m trying to expand my interests by reading more subjects, trying new activities, reaching out to interact with new people. I’m experimenting to see if I can transform my pyramid into an hour glass. From some of my reading I’ve discovered that continued learning of new subjects may help delay the onset of dementia. If it does, fine. If it doesn’t then as least I’ll have a grand time with my new experiences, new books and new friends.

6 Comments:

Blogger Rob said...

Neatly expressed! I have been thinking along the same lines lately.

11/04/2005 04:07:00 AM  
Blogger George Breed said...

Thanks, Paul. I like your hour-glass model. I'll get to work on it!

11/04/2005 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Not that I really want that day to come. I've a strong feeling being a grown up isn't as much fun as advertised.

11/04/2005 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger RedBark said...

The pyramid is a good metaphor for what happens to us. Thanks

11/04/2005 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Bonita said...

It's true that as we age, everything in life becomes more precious, and we also tend to look more deeply, savor the moment. I've worked with demential and Alzheimer patients, and it can be slowed down...positive, stimulating experiences and relationships really help.

11/04/2005 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger I_Wonder said...

Buffalo, Agreed! For me the nice thing about life is the second childhood. I've wrapped the circle and am back to being a kid -- and I don't plan on making the same mistake again of becoming an adult.

11/04/2005 01:35:00 PM  

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