"Clearly not everyone who becomes old also becomes an elder. But some do, and many more could. . . . True elders are people who have gracefully accepted the passage of time, integrated their life experience with deep understanding, and made the fruit of their long experience available to others," writes Steven McFadden, the founder and an associate of The Wisdom Conservancy in Greenville, New Hampshire. He has taken Psalm 90:12: "Teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom" and divided this book into two sections, one on each sentence. The result is a salutary collection of quotations which put the accent on the positive aspects of conscious aging and sharing wisdom with the world. Here is a sampler of quotes from the book:
• "To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living."
— Henri Frederic Amiel
• "(When you are old) you have a lot of experience you can call upon, you have a kind of wisdom that leaves out the details and simply goes straight for the important things. This is the meaning of the wisdom of the ages."
— Rollo May
• "Great wisdom is generous; petty wisdom is contentious."
— Chuang Tzu