I saw the teenagers standing in line by the high school, taking turns doing their drivers’ licence test. They looked scared and a little bit excited.
Some people are so afraid of aging they don’t want to talk about it. They want to close their eyes and cover their ears and say “la la la” so as to keep out any information about the inevitable truth. I think it is because they do not have a licence to age yet. And that is because we don't have it yet. But we should.
No one should be able to move forward until they study up and pass the aging test. Then they will be safe in society to age. The study manual would contain exact information on the realities of aging, so they can contain their fears appropriately. For example, people are afraid of rotting away in a substandard nursing home. But fewer than ten percent of the population does this, and even then, not for long. The manual will contain the many things one can do to mitigate the aging process, and even if they still do not exercise or stop smoking, at least they are doing it knowing the consequences, and in that have a measure of control over the seemingly uncontrollable future. The in class part of the study will have videos interviews of actual thriving elderly people, and why they are still viable and happy.
Then the big “road” test. Aging candidates for licences to age will have to perform. After passing a quiz on the latest studies on combating Alzheimer's, financial forecasts for Social Security and Medicare benefits, and what to wear to the Apple bar for Genius appointments to solve tech problems, they will also have to drive a little too, so they can keep their drivers licences too.
Information and courage are the goal. After all, aging is like driving in Boston: you are taking your life in your hands every time you go out.