A doctor was once heard to say that it is a pity we know our own age; otherwise, we could just say that we are as old as we feel. The populations of most countries are ageing, and because of this we can anticipate many years of retirement. We need to make the most of this opportunity, but we are faced with exhortations such as “act your age.” Does this mean that older people should not have fun anymore, but should instead conform to conventional stereotypes such as being unproductive, conventional, inflexible, serene, and no longer interested in intimacy? In other words, should people have to grow old gracefully? The answer is no. Instead, we should enjoy ageing while still having fun and living life to the fullest.
The author, Dr. Mike Lowis, is a psychologist and theologian who has numerous academic publications to his name, including over sixty articles in peer-reviewed journals, two books and two book chapters. His vast research experience, plus being himself in the ‘third age’ of life, adequately qualifies him to write on the topic of making the most of the retirement years. He delights in debunking the myths and stereotypes of ageing, and gives many examples of individuals who have achieved great things in later life. The book includes details on several ways that can help older people to cope with life, including making full use of both music and humour. It also reviews biblical texts that refer to the virtues of, and the respect for, older people.
This book is written in an accessible style that should also appeal to the interested general reader. The book also includes some simple self-test exercises that readers are invited to complete, the results of which should help those interested to gauge their own levels of progress toward life satisfaction. (Imprint: Nova)
"In his engagingly succinct yet detailed exploration of ageing, Mike Lowis presents a multi-faceted perspective on how we age in society dispelling myths and noting the influence of various elements including religion, humour, and music on that process. This is a book that adults of all ages will appreciate as Lowis provides compelling information he has gathered over years of scholarship and experience with helpful steps one can take to successfully navigate -- in whichever fashion one chooses -- what can otherwise seem a daunting prospect, that of ageing in Western society." - Teresa A. Fisher, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Bronx Community College – CUNY, Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, Bronx, NY USA
"Michael J. Lowis has written a unique book on a subject of great interest to millions of people round the world. He blends erudition and good sense, combining his knowledge of psychological research and theology with his own experience as a talented musician and creative individual. This means that he is in a position to offer observations and advice on ageing that go beyond well-meaning truisms and enthusiastic amateurism. He gives concise and reliable summaries of significant research into the experience of growing older – including the invaluable work of Erik Erikson, but also that of many other psychologists who have addressed the phenomenon. He begins by addressing the very meaning of “age” and “ageing” before going on to explore common myths about the topic in an uplifting and engaging way. Readers are encouraged to test their own responses and self-image through a series of brief questionnaires along the way. The book as a whole is optimistic and good-humoured, as Dr. Lowis explores what social science (including his own research) has revealed about the crucial factors in establishing a fruitful and active mindset in later years. I was particularly taken by the section on the relationship between faith and positive ageing (sceptical readers need not fear an evangelising approach, since Dr. Lowis’ take on the matter is grounded in a broad, non-sectarian and concept of “grace” and belief, as well as scripture). Not many people have researched both the nature of humour and the power of belief, but Michael Lowis is one of them. His interest in both these things, and his capacity to summarize complex research in an entertaining and lucid way, make this a book to read and re-read for its wisdom and encouragement." - Dr. Christopher Ringrose, Associate Professor of English, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Rev. K. Graham Hawley,
Board Member, Christian Council on Ageing, UK. To read the review, click here