Archive for September, 2011

Articles on Ageing

September 5, 2011

Struggling to be Happy – Even When I’m Old

Published in The Journal of  Applied Philosophy Vol.19 Issue 1 pp. 17-30 2002

Read online at https://spinozaauthor.wordpress.com/books-by-spinozaauthor-margaret-gullan-whur/articles-on-spinoza-by-margaret-gullan-whur/struggling-to-be-happy-even-when-im-old/

Abstract

My thesis seeks to reduce what may be a natural human antipathy to ageing
and/or the elderly by working with one distinctive and consistently approved
feature of some older people. This feature is a bold and cheerful struggle
within a self-chosen project. The argument opens by distinguishing short-term
gratification from lasting, fulfilling happiness, and showing the link between
gratification and dependence. Three kinds of struggle (non-voluntary,
part-voluntary and positive) are then outlined and exemplified. Gerontological
and anthropological research suggest that attitudes to struggle are fixed early
in life, and while in the past they mitigated for or against successful
survival, they now influence happiness and coping in later life. I argue that
the negative effects of the first two kinds of struggle – which are often
misguided, grudging or ‘no-win’ struggles – are responsible for the rigidity,
narcissism and resentment disliked in some older people. Self-respect,
contrasted with self-righteousness, is shown to accrue only from the positive
(voluntary and congenial) struggle that seems at any age to deflect or
compensate for depression, disappointment, loneliness and illness.

Struggling to be Happy – Even When I’m Old

September 5, 2011

Published in The Journal of  Applied Philosophy Vol.19 Issue 1 pp. 17-30 2002

Read online at https://spinozaauthor.wordpress.com/books-by-spinozaauthor-margaret-gullan-whur/articles-on-spinoza-by-margaret-gullan-whur/struggling-to-be-happy-even-when-im-old/

Abstract

My thesis seeks to reduce what may be a natural human antipathy to ageing
and/or the elderly by working with one distinctive and consistently approved
feature of some older people. This feature is a bold and cheerful struggle
within a self-chosen project. The argument opens by distinguishing short-term
gratification from lasting, fulfilling happiness, and showing the link between
gratification and dependence. Three kinds of struggle (non-voluntary,
part-voluntary and positive) are then outlined and exemplified. Gerontological
and anthropological research suggest that attitudes to struggle are fixed early
in life, and while in the past they mitigated for or against successful
survival, they now influence happiness and coping in later life. I argue that
the negative effects of the first two kinds of struggle – which are often
misguided, grudging or ‘no-win’ struggles – are responsible for the rigidity,
narcissism and resentment disliked in some older people. Self-respect,
contrasted with self-righteousness, is shown to accrue only from the positive
(voluntary and congenial) struggle that seems at any age to deflect or
compensate for depression, disappointment, loneliness and illness.