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THE MID-LIFE CRISIS IN A SPIRITUAL LIGHT

by Gerry McCarthy

Aging is a serious issue. But it’s rarely given the attention it deserves. That’s surprising too. Especially when you realize the first baby boomers have reached their mid 50s.

     The study of aging (known as gerontology) is fascinating to behold. It intersects with numerous academic disciplines, including: sociology, psychology, history, linguistics, consumer sciences, and medicine. But sadly, two of the largest universities in Canada (the University of Toronto and York University) don’t even have a graduate program in gerontology.

     Several weeks ago, I came across some interesting comments from Stephen Katz about aging. An associate professor of sociology at Trent University in Peterborough (Ontario), Katz teaches a half-course in aging. He says the embrace of a "vigorous" freedom-55 concept means we’re living longer and worrying earlier. As result, he explains, there are more mid-life crises and anxieties.

     I recently contacted Katz to ask him about this social phenomenon. At one time, he says, people accepted the decline model. Wrinkles, thinning hair, less sexual potency and muscle tone were considered part of
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