Forever Young

 

One fascinating I find about Americans is, no matter how old they are they always have a young spirit. An old fashion Americans may use social networks well. But a 50—year-old Chinese with a Weibo (the Chinese Version of Twitter) account may be considered as “too fashion.”

This weekend I had a chance to interview a 50-year-old gentleman, whose name is Paul. He is energetic, with a unique Bostonian sense of humor, which makes him really charming. Though he takes himself as an old fashion guy, “My wife always says I will make great extra in 1940s’ film,” he has an interesting Facebook profile, whose head picture is his angry face portrait. He also put many other funny pictures in his photo albums, including selfies.

“I found that Facebook is interesting because it let me reconnect with old friends who have lost connection for years. I just find out how to Google on the phone.” He described how far behind he was on the internet and smart phone usage. But he could discuss about the popular movies, rock and pop music with us. He is never far behind in this aspect. He is also planning to travel abroad.

Also, I’ve met old ladies when I do volunteer work in the Symphony Hall. They are in their 80s and going on their Facebook well.

But for Chinese, when you turn old, you really turn old, which means your heart becomes old. You just shut down. Even if you want to live in a young style, they hardly stick to your life style that because people around you will keep telling you that you are old. Old people should do “old” stuff.

My mum, who is also in her 50s, are now taking a yoga course, as well as studying a traditional Chinese instrument. But some of our neighbors or her colleagues think she is kind of… odd. In their opinion, a 50-year-old lady should stay at home, cooking; it is not necessary to get any new hobbies. They may get shocked when they know my mum are also shopping online, and manages many social networking accounts.

“This country has wide open possibility. Some people do shut down, but there are other kinds. Compared to China, it is a very young country. You are one of the oldest civilizations in the world. But America is a young country, so people think themselves young.” This is Paul’s opinion about Americans.

Fortunately, things are turning good. Chinese are more and more open now. Especially in the big cities as Shanghai and Beijing, we can see more “fashion” people in old generations. They are using smart phones, traveling, and learning all the new things. They are getting old, but they are still young.

You can never get old, if you have a young heart.

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