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What Should We Do When We Grow Old

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Lansia Zaman Now book cover on keyboard

Congratulations to you, for growing older everyday. Growing old is a certainty. But what we choose to do as we grow old can change our fate from living a dream life to living a nightmare. In this post, I am going to tell you an interesting book about today’s elderly and how they can choose to be joyful, happy, and rich in spite of their age.

On November 26th, I attended a webinar held by an Indonesian publisher, Penerbit Buku Kompas. The speaker was Threes Emir, an author of so many books. She talks about many things related to writing. During that webinar, I asked a question to the speaker, and unexpectedly I got 4 books from Threes Emir and Penerbit Buku Kompas: Lansia Zaman Now, Kau yang Terindah, I Believe in Miracles, and Okky Asokawati - From Fashion to Politics.

I am going to write a review for each of those books, but I can’t do them all at once because I was busy grading students’ work for their final report card score. So I throw out a quick survey via Whatsapp status, only available in 24 hours, asking the people, which books I should review first. And their choice fell on Lansia Zaman Now (The Elderly of This Time).

Their choice is understandable. First of all, the title is eye-catching. Using the term ‘Zaman Now’, a term usually used by the young people these days in Indonesia. So it shows a contradiction between the word ‘Lansia’ which means ‘Elderly’ and the term ‘Zaman Now’.

Secondly, the cover design of the book is also intriguing. Rather than using an old fashion design, it uses contrast color purple and yellow and the elderly people are drawn with the flat design, which look so cheerful and modern.

The subtitle is also interesting: Bahagia, Gembira, dan Kaya. Joyful, Happy, and Rich. Who doesn’t want that? People want to live a peaceful life when they are old. So this book is chosen by most of the survey respondents.

This book is very thin. Only 56 pages, so handy to be read anywhere anytime. The pages are colorful, with quite big font size, making it easy to be read by elderly.

Lansia Zaman Now Inside Page
Colorful page and big font size



Why the young generation should also read this book

Actually, because the audience are all young people and we called her 'Oma' (means grandmother), Threes Emir mentioned that anyone who gets the book can give it to the elderly in their home. But since it is interesting and my grandparents live far away, so I decided to read it myself.

Beyond my expectation, the book is also enjoyable to be read by the young generations. It conveys many messages, especially about emotion control. Each chapter is entitled with emotion. Then it talks about how we can deal with that negative emotion or how we can create the positive emotion. Happy, sad, tired, angry are not only felt by the elderly. The young people also feel those emotions. We, the young people, should also learn how to deal with them.

This book also gives a different perspective regarding how I see the elderly. It raises empathy toward the elderly. The things that for young people is just a usual thing, for the elderly can be something irritating or frustrating. The book reminds me how to be more careful when interacting with the elderly.

It reminds of Allah, in the Quran, command on how respectful we should interact with the elderly.

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلاَهُمَا فَلاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ وَلاَ تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيمًا
For your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And honour your parents. If one or both of them reach old age in your care, never say to them ˹even˺ ‘ugh,’ nor yell at them. Rather, address them respectfully. (QS. Al Isra : 23)

For the elderly, even a slight expression of unpleasantness from us can hurt them so much.

An interesting point of view given by Threes Emir about being an elderly, is that you shall not think the elderly today are the same as the elderly in the past. Elderly today can go to a cafe, or go dancing once a week, take a culinary tour or go to other cities, even abroad. Being old does not mean being incapable. They can still work and be active. See Mahathir Mohammad, who became the prime minister at the age of 90s. Or the author, Threes Emir herself is still writing many books at the age of 70s. Threes emir said in the back cover of the book,

'' you will realize that now is year twenty-something, not nineteen-something.”

How will the Millenials grow old

As I reading this book, I began thinking. This is the old times Threes Emir describe at this moment (The book was published in 2019). The elderly mentioned are the ones that was born 70 or 90 years ago.

What about our generation, the millennials? We are now at around twenty or thirty years old. Forty years forward, how would we spend our old time? Will we be happier than the elderly today? Will we be more active? Will we be surrounded by more technology? Or will we go back to our natural way of living? Will we spend more time travelling?

An article by the Time gives interesting insight about how millennials will spend their old times. The article suggests that millennials pay more attention to their health. Less people are smoking for this age and also more people do exercise. Which means their life expectancy can be higher than the previous generations.

They also have more education than the previous generation. More has a university degree. And more are working longer hours than the previous generation. It looks like they will be more active than the previous generation in their old times.

But the bad news, millennials have a worse record in finance than the previous generation. They spend more, especially on gadgets and unessential stuff. Most of them don't have any savings. Most of them have no financial plan for their old times. They finance themselves on a day-to-day basis.

This findings was based on a survey, so it might be or might not be applicable to you. The coronavirus pandemic may also change the way we currently live. However, we can reflect and prepare better for our old time. Keep our healthy lifestyle. Get some time to relax and have a break from work. Plan our finance for the long run. Think twice before we buy something that is not essential for our life.


I hope the pandemic will be over soon and we can live our life peacefully to our happy and joyful old age. How would you spend your old time? Tell us in the comment section below.
Nia M Wardani
Hi! Call me Nia. I am a physics teacher and I love to learn anything in the universe.

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14 comments

  1. I like this book, because make me know about elder. Especially how they're wanna live.

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  2. Must I read this book? I spend my time to have some friend and study many things. (Note : correct me if I'm wrong kak, I know my english is bad) :D

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  3. I really want to read this book. Then, sometime I imagine, how about my future, how about my children... wallahu a'lam

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  4. This book is good for us, because we going to old and maybe we can learn about how to being old man, sorry my english is very bad :P

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  5. Design of the book is very attractive. I think the youngsters will enjoy reading the book with its pretty design. I also attracted to the contents of the book. There is much inspiration.

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  6. Masa tua sudah cukup sering hadir di pelupuk mata. Cocok sekali buku ini dibaca untuk mempersiapkan masa tua nanti, apalagi tulisannya ramah di mata ya, pasti bikin betah bacanya ..

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  7. Aku mau ngomentarin pakai bahasa Inggris takut banyak salahnya nih mbaaa... Ehehehee jujur aku bacanya sungguh terbata-bata saat mengartikan... Tapi cukup faham sih dengan maksud tulisannya bahwa kita harus ada persiapan untuk menyambut masa tua kita...terimakasih pengingat nya mbaaa

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  8. Untuk persiapan masa tuaku, aku butuh buku ini. Disana pasti bnyak onjelasan dari yg berpengalaman.
    Untuk tulisan kak Nia, kujadikan sebagai wadah melatih bhs inggrisku hehe

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  9. Mbak aku minder kalo mau komen pake bahasa inggris hahaha, ini bukunya cocok buat generasi muda juga ya, karena isinya yg inspiratif dan aku suka warna ungu di bukunya ini mbak

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  10. Gonna read this book. My mom getting old and i want to take care of her well

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  11. Aku jadi pengen baca buku ini juga. Biar ada gambaran gimana masa tua. Dan segala persiapannya.

    Aku komen bahasa indo ya mba, dr pd ntar org bacanya jd sakit mata gegara baca b.ing ku hehehe

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  12. Barakallah...bisa langsung dapat 4 buku gratis, senangnya....

    Tua pasti, mudah-mudahan terus berarti...eaaa

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  13. I wish, i will spend my old in my hometown, live happily with my family. Far away from any crowded. Spend my life by planting, reading and traveling by nature. Hehehe

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  14. I wish I will spend my old in my hometown. Live happily with my family, far away from any crowded. Spend my life by planting, reading, writing and traveling by nature. Aamiiinn...

    ReplyDelete

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