Hormones and Hope – Is Youth Better Than Maturity?

“Why did Dr. Shaklee wait to start a company to distribute his nutritional products after he was in his 60’s?”

What would it be like to have a youthful body with the wisdom of age? It is the subject of movies, partially because a serious look at the question seems difficult. Still, everyone seems to be wishing for that imaginary combination whenever they say “Youth is wasted on the young.”  The purpose of this article is to attempt an answer to the question; “Is it possible to keep the body physically fit while the maturing process leads us deeper into wisdom.”  Solomon told his son to “..seek after wisdom and above all get understanding.” Remember, not everyone has the luxury of reaching a ripe old age!

Science Makes An Observation

Patrick Bennett, Canada Research Chair in Vision Science, and Allison Sekuler, Canada Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, have found that older people appear to be better and faster at grasping the big picture than their younger counterparts.  “Going into the study, we knew that ageing changes the way people see the world,” says Dr. Sekuler. “But these results are an unusual twist on the standard ‘ageing makes you worse’ story, and they provide clear insight into what is changing in the ageing brain.”  “As we get older, it becomes harder to concentrate on one thing and ignore everything else,” says Dr. Bennett. “It takes more effort to tune out distractions. We’ve seen it in cognition and speech studies, and now we see it in vision. Although we don’t know if those are all linked, we think the visual effect is due to changes in the effectiveness of inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain.” Neurotransmitters are chemical substances that can modify the way in which brain cells talk to one another. Some neurotransmitters enhance brain signals, and others inhibit them.  Shaklee Mind Work’s ongoing research should help produce a population of seniors that can assimilate seemingly unrelated information and come up with a solution to the wold’s problems.  Maybe having aging supreme court judges is a good idea!

Is One Better Than The Other?

My  response to the statement, “Is youth better than maturity”? is I think that one is not better than the other but they are stages of the life in the learning process.  My brother and I, with a combined age of near 140 years  often discuss the fact that solving some complex math and physics problems when we were young are now almost self evident.  It seemed that we could learn things faster a half century ago but something has changed.  We seem to be able to relate these seemingly unrelated bits of data and now produce a more complete and detailed picture.  Youth is exactly where it needs to be; age as well. But, just to make sure, let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of youth and experience and why they can’t easily be combined.

To begin with, what benefits are attach to youth?

I will  include a fresh, perspective on things; enthusiasm and boundless energy; and a great capacity for getting excited (in every sense). Remember the enkindling experience of a new great song or a new love? You are likely to hear more wonderful music over time, and probably have later loves, but they don’t quite feel the same to you if you are mature when they happen.  Youth seems to be more responsive to feelings as well.  Consider the deep emotions and physical response brought out following the past presidential election.

“If you are young and not liberal then you have no heart. If you are old and not conservative then you have no brain.” – Winston Churchill

Add to the period of life’s early gifts an openness to new experience, intellectual flexibility and the relative ease of molding yourself into a new shape; quickness of mind and body; great beauty and strength. Finally, youth is more innocent and finds it easier to trust, not yet having been so fooled by life and the people in it to assume that appearances are always the real thing.

Why Do Many Young People Experience Depression and Anxiety?

On the down side, there is the self-consciousness that particularly afflicts the young and can make it a painful time. If some Eastern religions are correct, freedom from suffering and peace of mind are found in a state called “nirvana,” certainly not to be experienced while self-consciously trying to find your path in life.  Optimum nutrition at this stage of life offers youth the feeling of boundless energy and infinite possibilities.  I love to consider the message in Robert BLy’s book “Iron John – A Story About Men” that paints the picture of youth and vulnerability seeking answers from the mature and wise.  There is a connection here between youth and maturity.

We tend to learn more from pain than pleasure. Thus, early life — the period in which we learn the most — is a painful time, of necessity. “The School of Hard Knocks” doesn’t award you a diploma, but perhaps it should.

Life Is A Process Of Learning And Coming To Some Conclusions

Most of us do not enjoy the youthful stress connected with not knowing a thing and having to learn large quantities of procedures, skills, and information rapidly. It is no fun being behind all the bigger, older, and more learned competitors and authorities. Employers have learned that experience in the area of the job is the most valuable trait a candidate can possess. But this gives way to a more gradual — less “all at once” process of learning as one ages. Discipline and developing routines are required. Practice makes perfect. One discovers “the tricks of the trade,” even though baseball great Vernon Law warned that “Some people are so busy learning the tricks of the trade that they never learn the trade.”

Maturity Makes Many Things EasierImage result for youth vs maturity

Still, experience does tend to make lots of things easier, so that each day is not quite so challenging as it was when we were growing up. And with that experience and the knowledge acquired along the way comes, one hopes, fewer of the errors that are a part of any learning process, thus serving to increase one’s feeling of self-confidence and security; and perhaps even allowing for less self-consciousness.

In real maturity there is a steadiness and calm: you’ve seen worse before, you’ve lived through a lot; so you know that not everything is a matter of life and death. Or to quote a famous basketball coach’s advice to his young players: “If every game is a matter of life and death, you’re going to have a problem. You’re going to die a lot.” And so the mature person “dies” less often than his youthful counterpart and is at least a little better at taking on difficult challenges. The man with seniority no longer sweats so much of the small stuff.

Why Mentoring Is So Valuable

Mentoring from those who came before me (Sensei is a Japanese honorific term that is translated as “person born before another”) has often inspired me and guided my path. My father was my earliest mentor who taught me kindness and humility as he worked as a master home and cabinet builder who had a soft spoken manner. When I entered high school I found some of his chemistry, math and history books and saw that he was an honor student in high school but went into the trades during the depression making organ cabinets in a large company then in the Navy was awarded a number of times during his naval experience during WWII.  In my college years I worked for a  chemist, Dr. Mel Lenc, a co-discoverer of silicone rubber who had a great influence on me.  My graduate thesis advisor was Dr. Audrey Lawrence a physical chemist, who worked on the early science of television.  At the Army Burn Research I worked with medical researchers who taught me critical thinking and while in my youth developed a method of tracking the affect of stress on the immune system white blood cells called neutrophils.  In my later years at Western State Chiropractic College I studied from some wonderful doctors who took me under their wing and molded my image of a natural doctor, Dr. Shaklee was one. I have enjoyed the privilege of 40 years practicing, teaching and researching the natural ways to optimize human health and well being through “nutrition” – nurturing body, mind and soul!  I now enjoy teaching interdisciplinary health care providers, physicians and patients what I have learned.  I am still the biggest student I know, besides my brother that is!

Dr. Shaklee Left A Legacy

PREFACE from A Study Course In Nutrition by Dr. Forrest Shaklee

The subject of nutrition is so vast and complex that no human mind has ever fathomed all it’s secrets. Many of them may never be unraveled, but the basic principles are known. This STUDY COURSE is based upon these principles as they are known to me and to thousands of other scientists. Nature is orderly and balanced. Man is the “boatrocker”. He often upsets Nature’s balance with results that are catastrophic. It is our duty, yours and mine, to study the complex relationship which exists between natural nutrition and strong, healthy tissue cells. No form of life stands entirely alone. Bacteria devour vegetation to enrich the soil-plants devour the enrichment of the soil-animals devour the plant. Thus, we see the completion of life’s cycle. Knowingly, or not, man must follow the same rules that govern all other living things!

Need more information? Have questions? Contact Us!

Share This