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Advice from Pablo Casals

Excerpt from Daily Cures, Wisdom for Healthy Aging by Connie Mason Michaelis

“The man who works and is never bored is never old. Work and interest in worthwhile things are the best remedy for age,” said legendary cellist and conductor Pablo Casals at 93 years of age. Casals (1876 –1973), regarded by many as the greatest cellist of all time, was also the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the U.N. Peace Medal for his dedication to justice and his lifelong stance against oppression and dictatorship. Casals was as much an extraordinary artist as he was an extraordinary human being — a generous and kind man, a passionate spirit in love with life, and an unflinching idealist. On his 90th birthday, he began a collaboration on his autobiography, Joys and Sorrows. He says the real fountain of youth is purposeful work, and “if you continue to absorb the beauty in the world about you, you find that age does not mean getting old.” Sounds like a man whose advice we should consider seriously!


Before you jump to the conclusion that you have to stay at your current job forever to avoid getting old, I would instead consider Casal’s words “interest in worthwhile things” and “absorb the beauty in the world.” For an individual whose life’s work was making beautiful music, it is more easily understood that he would never stop creating. But what do you consider worthwhile and beautiful that you can engage in during your 80’s and 90’s? The attraction of retirement is strong, but the fact is that many retirees get through the honeymoon of freedom and find themselves bored and with declining health. As a part of planning for the future and preparing for the best chapters of life, we need to consider seriously what things are worthwhile to pursue and how we can continue to seek beauty in our daily lives. Not planning to continue a life of learning, growing, and changing is a health risk for sure.


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