"What's in a name?"-- asked the literary giant Shakespeare several centuries ago. I ask "What's in an age?". I've seen 20 something young people who are complacent with their plain jobs, willing to do the minimal required to sustain life, living life rather vegetatively. And I've seen(heard? read?) 80 year olds who want to climb the Mt. Everest, who succeed in it too!!. I read this blog the other day from a 10th standard boy, apparently far more wise than people twice or thrice his age, expressing his views on how DU's recent changes in policy would affect the type of students entering there. And the other day this young 8th standard guy who I met in the train, super tech savvy with the iPad his dad gifted him on his birthday. He literally defeated one of my friends(the chess champion of our college) in a round of chess. And a G.K. that would make ashamed all of us out here!! Examples like these abound in today's times.
When we say that we cant have an absolute 0/1 response to most practical situations, or as goes the saying that we are all "shades of gray"(and not jet blacks or whites),then how can we cite age to be the determining factor in so many decision making situations? How can it be that a girl who, till let's say, the midnight of the 4th of August, 2008 was inelligible for marriage, became elligible the moment the clock struck 12?? (That's me by the way, and even today I dont feel I'm comfrtable with getting married!!). How can it be that in a single day ,rather again, in a matter of just a few seconds(clock striking 12!), you turn an adult from being an adolescent?? Your mental age is not a direct function of your chronological age, as psychology would easily tell you. It rather depends on a multitude of other factors, called environment variables. And in my opinion, it is more of a "fuzzy logic"(that's a technical term by the way, go google it if you don't know :P). More so, in matters like marriage or issues of jurisprudence, it is ur Emotional Intelligence or EQ more at work, let alone your mental age. How can then, it be that chronological age be given so much absolute dominance?
Another instance is that of retirement. In most professions today in our country, there is a fixed legal age of retirement varying between 60-65. However, I wonder if it actully make sense. There are reknowned "Hakims" (term for a Muslim physician) aged over 90 or so, who can by just looking at you tell what trouble you are facing, and wherein lies the cause. More over, they'll give you the simplest of medications, close to nature and far cheaper, than the usual allopathic medicines with side effects and which also , by the way, amount to huge bills. These people are able to do so because there is no one stopping them from practicing, and the more the continue their works, the more experienced they become in the knowledge of anatomy of the human body. Compare this situation with the govt. employed doctors - Their career ends, when that of a hakeem starts.
And then what about those masses of people in govt. jobs?
The teachers, the bank employees etc.? Did they become incapable of doing their jobs the day they turned 60/62/65?
Reflecting back on all I said above, I feel that a lot of changes are required in the current manner of cognition. Perhaps we as a society need to eventually move towards one that understands the complexity of things around us, and accepts it. So that rather than numbers or strict 0/1 rules, it is something else that pervades, perhaps a lot more liberal attitude, a general sense of righteousness...