Age Quotes: 70 Years

The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven’t changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don’t change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion. ~Doris Lessing, 1992

The seventieth birthday [1889] was a great festival. Maud, inviting Oliver Wendell Holmes to the party, had written, “Mamma will be seventy years young on the 27th. Come and play with her!” The Doctor in his reply said, “It is better to be seventy years young than forty years old!” ~Laura E. Richards & Maud Howe Elliott, Julia Ward Howe, 1819–1910, 1915

[L]iving must be your whole occupation…
I mean, you must take living so seriously
that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees—
and not for your children, either,
but because although you fear death you don’t believe it,
because living, I mean, weighs heavier.
~Nâzım Hikmet Ran (1902–1963), “On Living,” translated by Randy Blasing and Mutlu Konuk

Death, then, — let us know its value and what it is worth, — but destroys the outward tabernacle, cuts down that which hampers it, and removes the weights and shackles of mortality; it does not touch the immortal soul. Day by day the sands of life are failing, and those sands are swept into the common tomb into which we must all be gathered; but the soul wastes not, the soul grows in strength. There is many an old man, who feels at this moment that his soul is more vigorous, more powerful, at sixty-five, at seventy, than it was at thirty-five or at forty. And what does that indicate? That his soul is ripening, growing, and expanding. ~John Cumming, “What Shall It Profit?,” Twelve Urgent Questions: Personal, Practical, and Pointed, 1855

Retire? That’s ridiculous. What does it for you is to have something to get up for in the morning. Now, they say, you should retire at 70. When I was 70, I still had pimples. ~George Burns, 1978

I am beginning to think that my persona as a curmudgeon is wearing down…. I have lost, or am losing, my passion for the negative. Though I still feel that there’s much to be negative about (I do, after all, read the newspaper), I guess when one is 70 years old, there doesn’t seem to be much point in getting into twit over matters that one can’t control. I might as well take everything more lightly, for I haven’t that much time left. ~Richard E. Turner (1937–2011), The Mudgelog, 2007 May 15th