We asked, you answered.
How would you describe yourself?
27 years, dark-skinned, hetero, student, keen to travel, keen to interact, keen on culture
Imagine you are 72, 80 or even 99 years old: How and with whom do you live together?
In a country in the southern hemisphere, in a (small) house on the coast together with my wife (children are probably gone by then, but always come back). Generally an open house. Friends and family hopefully go in and out a lot.
Who are the most important people in your life and how do you spend time with them?
Still family and friends. How I spend my time probably depends a lot on what life situation I find myself in. Hopefully, in addition to rigid patterns, which are probably partly unavoidable due to starting a family, there is still the possibility to discover new, unknown things (away from the work context). Creating this possibility/experience is probably one’s own responsibility and must be an active undertaking, otherwise life might become utterly boring. To be a bit more concrete: Continue to travel, continue to try out new living spaces (even if only for a limited time), continue to be culturally interested and share these experiences with those closest to you. In short: Don’t neglect yourself and your environment.
What is your sex and love life like in the future?
Probably also depending on the specific age but as long as my hormones still play along, I’d say as varied as possible, not necessarily in terms of partners, at least not at an older age, rather in terms of the type of sex life. At an older age, make sure to take your time for it. It is said that one forgets/postpones it because of stress. (Whether this is then the lack of time or the lack of attraction or both, probably remains an individual psychological question). Regarding my love life I kind of have the romantic idea that I will have a woman at my side, with whom I can argue through everything, without heading below the belt (or at least below the belt blows can be cushioned by sincere communication) and on the other hand share intimate moments, without drowning in kitsch (I hate everything kitsch). In old age, this hopefully remains the case, only the quarrels probably become less as one becomes more frugal.
How do you manage to stay mentally and physically fit?
Children, interaction with younger people, pursuing hobbies, staying active in sports, maintaining openness to the world (allowing for changes in perspective that arise in the changing spirit of the times). If sport is no longer an option, then at least something that still represents sports to me even if it’s mowing the lawn or going for a walk, that’s also good.
How do you afford everyday life in the future?
As a young man, I have built up a solid customer base for my service/product. The one or other wise investment decision is certainly not wrong either. The goal is to generate multi-pronged revenue so that one is as independent as possible from individual factors. But it doesn’t have to be the world. It should only be enough to not have to turn over every penny (especially in old age).
In the future, what do you get up for in the morning?
Hopefully, it won’t always stay the same, but will change constantly, at least a little bit. But the goal is to make a sustainable contribution to society. Whether it’s about conveying culture, helping in developing countries or adapting/reorienting business practices in industrialised countries… it’s all fine with me. The main thing is that there is a ‘purpose’ behind it and not the pursuit of mere profit maximization.
By the way: Children change the whole certainly again. It’s hard to imagine now, but I think one’s own subject perception changes strongly if one has kids and one puts more focus on providing optimal starting conditions for one’s children. Of course, I still want to pursue my own goals…
If you had to tell a young friend about all the things you’ve done right while ageing and would thus recommend to them… What would they be?
I have always remained true to myself and have not taken myself for too important. I have recognised that there are many intelligent people, many who are smarter than you and you should not see them as competition but as partners. I have always made sure that I was there for my family and friends emotionally and as far as possible materially, even when things got difficult. I have rarely been doggedly attached to one thing, but have always been open to new things. In general, it is advisable not to think too much about the future and not too much about the past either, but to focus on the present. This is closely related to the personal perception of time and should not mean that past/future do not play a role.
A small allegory:
Either I am standing at the back of a train, watching things rush past me and trying to hastily grab some more of them. It would leave me feeling that I have missed something or that I don’t have enough time for the things meaningful to me OR I stand at the front end of the train and see everything coming towards me, having the possibility to select that which I want to dedicate myself to and to choose which things I let pass by. Although you choose the same amount of things in both perspectives, you have a different feeling about how you used your time and consequently a different feeling of satisfaction in the present.
Bottom line: you can’t do it all, so pick and choose what you do based on what you like!
– Original version: German –
Further images of the future of ageing:
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