Philosophy, Views and Insights of a 76-year-old male

Introduction and Description

In this paper, I will discuss my interview with a 76-year-old male, whom I am calling Greg. The paper includes his philosophy on various life issues, an analysis of his views and developmental theories, my insights on the concept of aging acquired from the interview, and finally a conclusion summary.

Greg is an old age Caucasian male pensioner aged 76 years. He lives in a retirement community in the Mississippi coastal municipal of Gulfport. He has a well-proportioned athletic body. He has freckles on his arm and face from the many years of exposure to the scorching sun. Greg has bushy eyebrows, a hooked nose, high cheekbones, dimples, and crooked teeth. He also has a receding hairline as evidence of his old age. Greg was born in a small tight-knit family residing in a small suburb in Kentucky.

Greg is currently in his late 70s and has lived a very fascinating life traveling the nation, raising two kids, and shaping their preferred profession. Greg was brought up alongside three siblings and he was the only son. He had a difficult teenage since at 14 he lost his father, and mentor, and later lost his mother when he was 25. Greg has, thus, living with traumatic memories to his adulthood. He gained approval from her peers in college who elected him as their college president for two consecutive terms. He married a Caucasian lady at 28 and was blessed with two children, a son, and a daughter. According to Greg, love and relationship, and whether one is physically and emotionally available to become bosom are among the most crucial phases in a grownup’s personal life. Like most seniors, Greg loves to tell tales and freely responded to questions during this interview. He agreed to talk to me on her personal experiences and feelings with the process of aging.


Greg clearly stated that his young years prepared him for old age by being around older individuals, friends, grandparents, relatives, and noticing the pronounced difference between their skin and his skin when he was a boy, and watching a close family friend whom he called grandma laid out in the casket in her parlor. Greg said that psychologically aging has come with curiosity. He explains that he is curious about every birthday and what subsequent thing he is going to encounter as an aging individual. He further states that as one age, there is certainly a change in one’s physical capacities. For instance, he was a runner but he had to stop running due to weakening of ankles and knees. He instead decided to go to the gym and also take up Tai Chai as a kind of movement.

Greg accounts that a sense of satisfaction has developed for him as he ages. He says that he has learned that the lesser the expectations, the more the fulfillment. With the completion of several tasks in life, he feels contented and has lesser regrets of things not done or roads not taken. Greg paradoxically accounts that sometimes he feels depressed and well at the same time so that it is not an either-or. Additionally, he admits that the older he gets, the more he loves people and relating with them. Greg says that his character has also been influenced by aging. He states that he had an obstinate streak in him which has become more predominant than it was when he was younger. He says that he finds unfairness intolerable and he is even more cognizant of his intolerance as he ages.

Greg states that some qualities he had as a kid are coming back now such as the quality of wonder. He says as a kid he used to wonder at the ocean and chocolate ice-cream in vanilla sauce. He accounts having flashes of reminiscences, of his childhood walks along hill trails. With old age, Greg says he has grown in wisdom as he has learned to listen more and talk less. H stresses that he implies real listening, both to the words and what is between the words. Greg states having encountered a polarization between living based on his uprightness and a feeling of desolation at attaining his real nature. He states that it takes more than just one level. One being that sentiment of acting out of his fullness and also acting out of a certain innate figure around whichever specific instant.

Lastly, Greg accounts having become more sensual presently than he has been in his younger ages. He says that small things can capture his attention for instance just walking on the sidewalk and seeing the bark of a tree makes him pause and gaze at it. He has learned to appreciate silence and stillness more and to just live in the moment. He admits loving touch and tastes more than when he was a kid, for example, he loves touching things, although, paradoxically, his toes are numb. And he loves deserts very much that he could simply pause while eating it and just taste it. Greg concludes by stating he is both satisfied and unsatisfied with life in the sense that he could drop it at the instant and feel he has lived fully but he still loves life and there is still much to be lived and engaged with.


In his work, Tomlinson (2016) supposed that we are moral beings trying to balance negative morality with ethical principles. Mok, Hajonides van der Meulen, Holmes, & Nobre, (2018) view the development of humans as several phases in which the person might incorporate the psychosocial and developmental aspects found in the phase. Linked to every phase, are dystonic and syntonic schisms of the specific aspect found at this certain phase. These vary from wisdom to hope; disdain to withdrawal. For old age, these attributes would be the achievement of a sentiment of integrity or state of desolation, disdain or wisdom. When one has lived with uprightness, life feels compete and one could look back on the past with fulfillment. Greg stated that his sense of satisfaction had grown as he grew older and he had lesser regrets as he ages concerning the roads not taken. He further stated that in earlier ages their regrets were there but currently, there is more satisfaction.

Irrespective of Greg’s gradually decreasing abilities he has found that physical drawback leads to other openings and broadens his range of search. Incapable of running he goes to the gym or takes up Tai Chi. Having reduced physical vigor and being incapable of doing several different tasks, Greg has learned to enjoy silence and stillness. His ability to embrace his drawbacks and letting them direct him further into novel and optional ventures show what Tomlinson (2016) has stated as the partiality to life in the face of death as one age. Instead of becoming disdainful or despairing, Greg’s elan vital directs him to different pastures of happiness and love.


As I review Greg’s rejoinders to my inquiries, I am shocked by the allusions to schisms of experience. He is equally dejected and feels well, he has sensitive sensuality at the same time as unresponsiveness in his toes; he has a big no and a big yes to life. These underline Tomlinson (2016) stresses of the schisms found in the divine function, and also connect us with Espirito Santo & Daniel, (2018) opinions on the conflictual tussles that we experience in every phase of development, eventually selecting one or the other schism as the approach with which we face life at that phase, for instance, despair or integrity in old age. Greg has developed the ability to hold some of the clashing encounters in his opinion as he engages with his process of aging. In realizing his capacity to do this, I become cognizant of my developing ability to accept my encounters of the opposites, minus losing myself in either one or the other schism. In previous years I would become caught in one or the other extreme and become desolate, supposing that I would never come out of that situation again. As I become older I am more capable of realizing that every extreme is impermanent, and the natural course of enantiodromia will direct me back to a more central position, which I am now capable to stopping at for longer and longer episodes.

As a write this paper, I find myself becoming excited about my aging and my death. It feels extremely relieving to discern parts of my identity fading away and to be capable of surrendering more to the track of time. Greg has been a motivation to me in seeing beyond the losses of specific abilities and faculties as I age, to different possibilities. His frankness to the encounters that that come with aging confirms my credence that it is conceivable to find purpose and gladness, even as we let go of things crucial to us. Ever since I had interviews with Greg, friendship has become exceedingly important to me and the simple joys in life such as the one’s Greg states, the experiences of touch and taste. Like him, I can say that from my past, I have always had an exceedingly full and exciting life, and feel a sentiment of having lived, being aware that I am still open to different encounters that life might bring. In learning of Greg’s encounters with aging, and reflecting on my own, I feel so lucky to be capable of approaching aging with this attitude.

Conclusion and Summary

Most aging persons are anxious about losing their physical aptitudes or grieve this loss, do resolve to excitement and enjoyment in life, usually feel marginalized and ostracized by society, and start to feel indiscernible to most people. Others lead very lonely lives, not visited or cared for by their families and friends. Those who have not experienced a breakthrough or who have not been called in a way or the other, find themselves disadvantaged inside and therefore spiritually, and are usually awfully troubled of what might come with aging and death. They yearn to go home, to get a feeling of belonging and meaning, to be at concord with themselves.

In our effort to honor and idealize old age, let us not overlook those who are living in despair or fear. I suppose that our societal and cultural structure similarly contributes to the suffering if our elderly persons. They are normally cast aside, placed into residential care amenities, and over-medicated. Minus relatives or community who could comprehend their dilemma, guide and support them in their journeys, they feel alone and lost. I recall an old Caucasian lady who was my mentor, she always advised me when I was still young to have numerous kids so that I would not lack someone takes care of me when I grew old. Community and family support, and the insight that comes with soul searching and life experience, I suppose are the aspects that guide us through an aging course in which we could feel fulfilled and enriched. I desire that we all get to encounter these so that our aging and death could be a passage into another realm of existence or reality, rather than a distressed end.


Espirito Santo, H., & Daniel, F. (2018). Optimism and well-being among institutionalized older adults. GeroPsych: The Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry31(1), 5–16.

Mok, R. M., Hajonides van der Meulen, J. E., Holmes, E. A., & Nobre, A. C. (2018). Changing interpretations of emotional expressions in working memory with aging. Emotion.

Tomlinson, J. (2016). A Relational Human Development Perspective on Benedictine Spirituality. American Benedictine Review67(1), 81–102.



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