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97-year-old philosopher explains why he’s not afraid of passing in inspiring video
If only we could all be as wise as he is!
Johndel Callora
03.29.21

Most of us are afraid or unsure of what comes after this life.

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We try our best to maintain or extend our juvenility and prime, desperately clinging to this social ideal of youth.

But some people have the wisdom and emotional stability to deal with anything life throws at them, and they teach the rest of lessons on how to face the hard things.

For example, American writer and activist Ashton Applewhite referred to aging as a natural, powerful, and life-long process that unites everyone.

In a TED Talk given by Applewhite, she mentioned that aging is neither a problem to be fixed nor a disease to be cured. It is just a matter of perspective.

What matters most is your attitude towards aging. If you associate old age with growth and purpose instead of equating it with illness, your positive outlook in life will help fend off stress.

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For Herbert Fingarette, reaching the age of 97 has been an interesting experience.

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Herbert is an American philosopher and emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

He received his Ph.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles under the direction of Donald Piatt. He is the main character of the short documentary Being 97, filmed and directed by his grandson Andrew Hasse.

Being 97 is a poignant film about the truths and struggles of age through Herbert’s eyes.

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According to Herbert, the psychology of old age is hard to fathom if you haven’t experienced any limitations yet.

As Herbert says, experiencing those specific limitations can be challenging for anyone—and it can be difficult to prepare for them.

Herbert was born in Brooklyn in 1921, and he was a Philosophy professor for 40 years.

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As he explains in the video, Herbert says he can still do many of his usual things in life, but now they are done with great effort and special care—and often with the help of somebody else.

In the latter part of the video, Herbert plays a vinyl record that contains a musical piece by a string quartet that was once meaningful to his late wife, Leslie.

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They were married for 70 years, and after she was gone, he felt very lonely.

For Herbert, losing Leslie was like losing half of himself because he loved her so much.

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As Herbert waves his hand in the air in the tune of the melody, he describes how difficult it was to move on.

His wife left a void that no one could fill, and he misses her dearly. Even so, despite dealing with some of the hardest things a person can face, Herbert still has a unique perspective that helps him keep going.

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Part of it is about appreciating little things in life, and accepting what you have—even if it’s easier said than done.

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As Herbert’s story shows, it takes a lot of courage and maturity to see the beauty of longevity.

Even if there are difficulties, it’s a road that all human beings walk together. It is something that connects everyone and that we all share.

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Although the topics covered are a little bit heavy, Herbert’s wisdom and love for his wife are sure to bring a tear to your eye.

Congratulations to Herbert on living such a long life, and on sharing his wisdom with so many people! Watch the full clip in the link below:

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Johndel Callora
hi@sbly.com
Johndel Callora is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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