Is Old Age a Burden?

Cicero, de Senectute:

“Every age is burdensome to those who have no means of living well and happily. But to those who seek all good from themselves, nothing which the necessity of nature offers can appear bad. Old age is a prime example of this sort of thing – everyone wishes to attain it, but they always complain about it once it is attained. Such is the inconstancy and perversity of stupidity. They say that it came upon them faster than they had expected. Who forced them to this false belief? For, who would claim that old age succeeded adolescence any faster than adolescence succeeded childhood? Would old age seem any less a burden to them if they were living their eight-hundredth year instead ot their eightieth? Once an age has passed and flown away, no consolation is able to soften the blow of a feeble-minded senescence.”

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Quibus enim nihil est in ipsis opis ad bene beateque vivendum, eis omnis aetas gravis est; qui autem omnia bona a se ipsi petunt, eis nihil malum potest videri quod naturae necessitas adferat. Quo in genere est in primis senectus, quam ut adipiscantur omnes optant, eandem accusant adeptam; tanta est stultitiae inconstantia atque perversitas. Obrepere aiunt eam citius, quam putassent. Primum quis coegit eos falsum putare? Qui enim citius adulescentiae senectus quam pueritiae adulescentia obrepit? Deinde qui minus gravis esset eis senectus, si octingentesimum annum agerent quam si octogesimum? Praeterita enim aetas quamvis longa cum effluxisset, nulla consolatio permulcere posset stultam senectutem.

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