Why do senior citizens retire mentally as well?
Many senior citizens not only retire physically – stop away from active employment because the employer wants him to leave at certain specified age – but also mentally. They tell themselves and others: "From now on I can lead a retired life". By this they mean that they can limit their activities eating ,sleeping, watching TV and a certain inevitable activities like doing Puja, buying things etc. They do not like to take up another job even to keep themselves busy. They may not opt to learn anything new – another language, skill or practice – nor seek new friends or a different way of active life. They become passive and think: "my life is over; I am only waiting for His call". I do not understand why they become docile, lazy and prefer to lead a lethargic and passive life. This puzzles me.
Trying to seek reasons for this type of self-negation, a few ideas flash. His father would have done the same. In earlier days it was thought perfectly OK to physically and mentally retire. Let youngsters take the reins of the household. Retirees were content with giving advice and perhaps interfering in everybody's life. It may also be that during his active life the work pressure and stress was really great (insurmountable?) and he was waiting to retire and 'enjoy' retirement by doing nothing in particular. In a few cases we find the children telling the father facing retirement: "Daddy, you have struggled enough for us. Now you take rest and retire. Take life easy". Whatever might be the reason I feel that a passive life is not worth it. This is strong conviction.
If one should realize one's full potential, then mental retirement is detrimental to it. One should be enthusiastic about life and experience new activities and joys. It may be learning a new game, a new skill (example: how to use the PC), making new friends, joining clubs and associations etc. The list is endless and only imagination is needed to pick something useful. The brain will be actively used and one can ward off diseases like dementia and Alzheimer's. By being helpful to society ones own self confidence increases and a sense of fulfillment arises. People tend to healthier, happier and better in all respects.
I believe in the statement: "Once you lose enthusiasm for life, you are dead". Why lead a life like a vegetable when there are plenty of opportunities, avenues, help, resources and guidance is available just for the asking? If you are one who is planning to retire mentally too, just know: You are destined to do better than that.