Too Old to be President?

By Winston Churchill, Politician and artist late into his life

By Winston Churchill, Politician and artist late into his life

 

"I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience," Ronald Reagan quipped when asked if, at 73, he is too old to be President.

Trump is seventy and Hillary no spring chicken. Obama still looks youthful leaving office if a couple of decades older looking than when he started. Are there real concerns with someone being president at a later age? Or taking up any profession for that matter?

Age brings wisdom if we learn from our mistakes and are self-reflective. Wisdom does seem more important than physical fitness, and we all know that some 20 year olds are in terrible shape, while some 90 year olds run marathons. But it is pretty hard to fake wisdom at a young age. Experience takes time.

To take up art later in life requires very little physical strength. Even failing eyesight can be a plus, and hearing is not too important. Does experience and wisdom help us learn painting or other art forms?

Usually wise people don’t give up when the going gets tough at first. They can see ahead and know trial and error will lead to success. But more than that, the wisdom of having experienced many things in life can lead to meaningful appreciation of subject matter, and the depiction of the natural world.

Many older people care less about public opinion and therefore avoid the ego driven side of art. They realize the process is the reward, and the product a nice side benefit.

Finally, older people are looking for ways to extend their mental abilities, and art does that. It prevents dementia and keeps those neurons activated. And it’s not so bad to have something to show for time spent, to build self-esteem.

While it may be too late to run for President, you can still become an artist no matter how old you are.