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Today I turn 37. People say that life begins at forty. If this postulate holds true, then I have three more years to go until life with the capital "L" begins.

But who is to say that the years lived by a person prior to age 40 cannot be considered as part of THE Life? Ahh! I have this assumption as to why people came up with this crazy notion that life supposedly begins at 40. This assumption of mine tells me that this “Life Begins at 40” notion simply boils down to economics.

By age 40, a person would have been able to work themselves up into a good paying job (or would be owning a small or medium-sized business), earning enough money to purchase various luxuries be it a car, a house, a trip abroad, a country club share, all of which are aimed to somehow give the individual the sense of satisfaction that he has arrived…in financial or economic terms. In the course of purchasing these luxuries, the individual at age 40 would have tempered their basic instinct to brag about their acquisitions or adventures. After all, there have been many peers who’ve made their millions long before they reached 40 and yet, lost practically everything overnight as a result of callow youth. This is more often seen among men as opposed to women. We’ve heard the saying, “The difference between men and boys are the price of their toys”. Hence, it came as no surprise when we saw in the early 1990’s the boom of that specialty shop on Wilson St., Toys for the Big Boys. No one will readily admit it but once again, I assume that the belief that “Life Begins at 40” fuelled the success of Toys for the Big Boys. Continuing on this pattern of thought, “Life Begins at 40” only serves to emphasize either a delayed or deprived childhood. You can take your pick.

With this I say, let us thrash this saying that life begins at 40! Who says that life at 28 is any less fun than at 40? Furthermore, the statement which basically finds its foundation on this false premise of enjoyment being a result of economic stability has no place in a country like ours where practically three quarters of the population live below the poverty line.

Down with “Life Begins at 40”! Life should begin at any moment we please to enjoy it. Here in the Philippines, people look back to the years in high school among the best in their lives. The fact that 99% of Filipino high school graduates went through this specific phase in life between the ages 12 to 16 easily disproves, “Life Begins at 40!”.

Down with “Life Begins at 40”! How many kids do we see at the Baywalk in Roxas Boulevard enjoying life’s simple pleasures, frolicking against the Manila bay sunset playing tag with each other? Surely they seem to be enjoying life far more than the 42-year-old Assistant Vice President with the corner office at an Ayala Avenue financial company slaving it out even while the same sun goes down in the distance.

Down with “Life Begins at 40”! Let us be more politically correct by just saying something else like: Forty is the old age of youth and Fifty, the youth of old age. I believe that would be more acceptable. As paradoxical as it may sound, the nice thing about it is that it can be said in an air of wisdom that is derived by age.

Let me say it again. Forty is the old age of youth and Fifty, the youth of old age. If this postulate holds true, then I would honestly hope that the ages 41 to 49 which seem to be excluded from the aforementioned statement do not easily sum up into the three words which are: mid-life crisis.

 
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