I’ll just go ahead and admit this right now, in my “out loud” voice – I’m a word nerd! I love finding new words and dropping them casually into conversation with friends. That’s why recently, I was excited to come across an article that not only shared some cool new words – but which also specifically referenced the wisdom of those of us who are 50+. Today it seems like it might be fun, in the crazy mixed up world we are living in, to review some wise words that stand the test of time. If we’re going to get older, we might as well get some credit for something!
I’ll start with this word, which I believe to be a reflection of these current times. It’s “Agathism.” It means not a pessimist, nor an optimist but rather, “the belief that all things will eventually get better, though the means by which they do may not be easy.” During times of uncertainty, which many of the 50+ crowd have certainly lived through and here we are again during COVID-19 living through them again, it might be hard to be optimistic. However, we can probably all relate to being certain that “this too shall pass.” With age comes the benefit of experience and Agathism is a great word that stands the test of time and reflects the wisdom of our life experience.
Next up there’s “Bummel.” Unlike a walk, jog or cardio workout, Bummel refers to a “relaxing, leisurely walk or wander” and derives from the German word for strolling. During this time of social isolation, and perhaps depending on your current fitness level, we think you’ll agree that we shouldn’t be pressuring ourselves to start a new fitness or yoga routine. Instead, go for a bummel – perhaps with a friend you met the Amintro way!
There are several wise old words that have to do with finding happiness, contentment or with helping others which also seem fitting not only for folks like us who have what Generation X, Y and Z might call “lived experience” but for anyone seeking solace in dark times. These words include: Dolorifuge, (finding what makes you happy) Heterocentric, (being more concerned about the welfare of others than yourself) Laetificate, (to lift someone’s spirits, a skill you really might find useful right now) and Retrouvailles (something I hope we all find in the very near future) which is “the utter happiness and joy sparked by reuniting or catching up with someone you haven’t seen in a long time.” Since we have all been social distancing so diligently, I really do hope we all experience retrouvailles with friends and family soon!
Lastly, the word that resonated with me most, and that I feel truly relates to those of us who are 50+, doesn’t sound particularly unique and unlike some of the others it’s easy to pronounce. The word is “worldcraft,” and here is how the article describes it: “Ageing is hardly the most welcome of life’s certainties. But for every word to remind us of its drawbacks (to be eildencumbered is to be held back by age), there is one for its seldom considered positives. Worldcraft is an 18th-century word for the unmatched cumulative wisdom of an aged person whose long life has given them unique and much venerated insight – far beyond anything a younger, less experienced person could ever imagine.”
Perhaps you agree with me that with age comes wisdom and that, as the word “worldcraft” implies, wisdom is a much valued characteristic that should indeed be venerated. It would be a wonderful thing to live in a world where the wisdom that accompanies age is respected, even sought out, by younger generations. Attitudes towards aging are shifting and I might even disagree with the first part of the words definition – that “ageing is hardly the most welcome of life’s certainties” because for me, ageing is a privilege denied many and we should be grateful for the experience. Sure it comes with some aches and pains, sometimes heartbreaking loss, but it also comes, if we are lucky, with the freedom to explore whether that’s the world or a new hobby, to be free from the daily grind of work, to enjoy grandchildren and leisurely bummels with friends. With age comes wisdom and plenty of wise words that stand the test of time.
If you’d like to read the whole article, you can find it here.