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STOIC POETRY | Retire at age twenty

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

Mostly, we think of retirement as something to do at the end of a career. For some, this may turn out to be the end of life... For though we may live on another twenty years or more after we stop working, we may find that we haven't enough life left in us to make good use of this ample time and opportunity. And I'm not just talking about age brings upon us other forms of infirmity, some of which are quite subtle and stealthy, being more absence than presence. This absence is the loss of who we once were, or the potential of what we might have done, or become, during a time of our life when our energies, time and resilience were more than a match for almost anything life could throw our way. I'm referring, of course, to our youth. To the decade of our twenties in particular. To a time when the world was ours. When the only thing stopping us was propriety, convention, sanction, and our own fear of what we did not know. And we can never get that back. Once the decade of our twenties is over, that opportunity for early life adventure is gone for good. MAKE USE OF IT WHILE YOU CAN.

There is no second chance. The person you will become in your old age - or in any decade of your life after youth - can never be the person you once were. And though succeeding decades may prove more bountiful for you in other ways, there's something about the twenties you can never, ever reclaim. Don't wait for money and security to buy you safe and comfortable passage into retirement. Take that passage now while you've the ample and quite perishable commodity of youth, which you can only spend while you are young. There's time enough after your twenties are done to secure other - far less valuable - forms of fortune.

Don't let the decade of your twenties go unlived

My name is Kurt Bell.

You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.

Be safe... But not too safe.

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