When the Nile reaches Cairo

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The title that crowns this column is taken from the introduction to The Art of Aging, by Arthur Schopenhauer, in the 2009 edition of Lectulandia, and written by Franco Volpi.

The Nile, as we know, is the second longest river in the world, surpassed only by the Amazon. It crosses 11 countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan and Egypt. Until 2004 it wasn’t fully traversed, but it was done by two explorers and it took four months.

With this analogy, Volpe perfectly affects the theme of the book, that the Nile’s long journey will end when it reaches Cairo. And the same thing happens in our lives: some will be short, others intermediate, and others longer, but all will reach Cairo, and its name is derived from Cairo (the victorious, the strong or victorious). We can even recall what kairós means in Greek for another symbol: the perfect, appropriate, or appropriate moment.

Aging is seen, at times, simply as decline, fatigue, disease and stagnation. However, the vast wealth of wisdom, experience and prudence that she carries with her cannot be underestimated. Schopenhauer said: “Youth is the period of restlessness. Old age is that of calm.”

Volpe said, “Old age rather represents the culmination of existence, the positive end to which one prepares and towards which the course of life is destined…; and in this sense our task, then, is to know how to age well at every stage of life.”

He added, “The conclusion of our stubborn pessimist—who is, in the end, nothing more than an informed optimist—is very simple: ‘You must grow old gracefully, the rest is given.'”

Do I prepare for the arrival of Nelly to Cairo?

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