英语四级听力美文第27篇:How to Grow Old
Psychologically there are two dangers to be guarded against in old age. One of these is undueabsorption in the past. It does not do to live in memories, in regrets for the good old days, orin sadness about friends who are dead. One's thoughts must be directed to the future, and tothings about which there is something to be done. This is not always easy; one's own past is agradually increasing weight. It is easy to think to oneself that one's emotions used to be morevivid than they are, and one's mind more keen. If this is true it should be forgotten, and if it isforgotten it will probably not be true.
The other thing to be avoided is clinging to youth in the hope of sucking vigour from itsvitality. When your children are grown up they want to live their own lives, and if you continueto be as interested in them as you were when they were young, you are likely to become aburden to them, unless they are unusually callous. I do not mean that one should be withoutinterest in them, but one's interest should be contemplative and, if possible, philanthropic, butnot unduly emotional. Animals become indifferent to their young as soon as their young canlook after themselves, but human beings, owing to the length of infancy, find this difficult.
I thing that a successful old age is easiest for those who have strong impersonal interestsinvolving appropriate activities. It is in this sphere that long experience is really fruitful, andit is in this sphere that the wisdom born of experience can be exercised without beingoppressive. It is no use telling grownup children not to make mistakes, both because they willnot believe you, and because mistakes are an essential part of education. But if you are one ofthose who are incapable of impersonal interests, you may find that your life will be emptyunless you concern yourself with your children and grandchildren. In that case you must realisethat while you can still render them material services, you must not expect that they will enjoyyour company.