Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. Everything has been figured out, except how to live. One always dies too soon or too late. And yet, life is there, finished. The line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life. There is only one day left, always starting over. It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk. We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are, that is the fact. When you live alone you no longer know what it is to tell a story: the plausible disappears at the same time as the friends. You let events flow by too.Suddenly you see people appear who speak and then go away; you plunge into stories of which you can't make head or tail. You'd make a terrible witness. It is true that people who live in society have learned how to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends. Luckily, I only have a few...

Dr Shaw is a lecturer in Further Education at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. She also offers philosophy courses at the School of Continuing Education, Lifelong learning, at the University of Liverpool. In 2015, she has completed her Doctorate in philosophy with a focus on existentialism, the equilibrium doctrine and narrative. She has worked as a teacher of English and Comparative literature and Philosophy at The American University in Cairo, Egypt where she also obtained her BA (Hons). Dr Shaw has an MA in Philosophy and Literature from the University of East Anglia where she also taught on a number of humanities subjects. Whilst working in North Wales in Further education, she gained a PGCE aimed at teaching in FE and HE sectors. Dr Shaw moved to Liverpool in 2010 where she now resides.

Interests: Existentialism, Narrative, Comparative Literature, Feminist Thought, Public Speaking, Arab Existentialism, Philosophy of Education, Art, Music, Film and Theatre, Greek Mythology, Existential counsellor and psychotherapist.


Sunday, 22 May 2011

The Coming of Age

Age is defined by the length of time that an organism has lived. Today, I have lived for 27 years on earth since 1984. "Ageing in humans refers to a multidimensional process of physical, psychological, and social change." This means that we change throughout life in various ways. These ways unfortuantely may not always be pleasant. Someone once told me that if a child is good looking , he/she grows up to be not too good looking by time, and vice versa... Funny though because I have always been told that I "was" a good looking child, which brings up the question of: what about now, am I or am I not?

With age also, people assume that by growing older, one must be wiser. Well this I doubt very much. In our teens, we do things that we may regret for the rest of our lives, we take chances, we give little thought to consequences, and we believe that rules are made to be broken. After our 21st birthday, we are no longer excused for those silly mistakes we did in our teens, no matter how small or big they are. We are welcomed into adulthood and realise that we can only live the rest of our lives redeeming ourselves for whatever stupid things we have done in our past. But what if we did nothing in our teen, what happens after we are 21? Well, as pessimistic as that may sound, we are absorbed into a materialistic life, consumerism, pressured to succeed because failure is a disease that if infected, we would dissapoint.

Many people spoke of age....so I thought to celebrate- or not- my coming of 27 years of age, I should share the best quotes on the notion of age from those who we may consider have grown wiser, sillier or younger by time.

  • Age is whatever you think it is. You are as old as you think you are.  Muhammad Ali
  • Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen. Mark Twain
  • No woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.  Oscar Wilde 
  • We are always the same age inside.  Gertrude Stein 
  • Old age is just a record of one's whole life.  Muhammad Ali 
  • At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.  Benjamin Franklin  
  • A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age.  William Shakespeare

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