“AGE DOESN’T MATTER..” the matured ones used to say (and we used to be amused with) in decades preceding. This EXPR (Expression) was often said when there were partners – throughout life or otherwise, already matched or were tending to be matched.
THE EFFECT(S)-RESULTING (or intended) were one and many, among others: 1) to remind the observers that love or marriage need not be age-based; or 2) it is best to respect the decisions of the pair to match themselves, or to be matched; or even 3) the age ‘issue’ should not be pushed ‘that far’; etcetera.
BUT EVEN IF usually said ‘in-passing’ or like a joke, said expression happily ended those conversations or questions like: “but they are of great age-gaps?” or, “what will the peers say?” or, “will they not be hard-up in later adjusting?”, and so forth.
THESE AND SIMILAR constructions, the EXPR quelled them most, if not all. “Age doesn’t matter..” then they add their reason(s) – after the continuing phrase: ~ “after all,”
[IN HIGHSCHOOL, WHERE in those times each time a maturing man was paired – via the traditional way of Kalon (or ‘parental/elder arrangement’), with a young lass of 25 years old or so, my classmates, e.g. Veloso C., Pat C., Adoro C., or Enoy I., etc., would joke or say: “Age doesn’t matter, after all, amor caecus est! i.e. ~ Love is blind!” from our language teacher that time].
BUT, THAT IS when we are not seriously in-mood, meaning: aside from the aforecited contexts, you and I could agree that: ‘age-does-matter!’ Yes, it does. Consider
FOR INSTANCE, IN the ‘major decisions’ of the basic unit of the society – which is the family nuclear, the one who mostly does this is he or she who has the greatest age of them all: the father (and/or the mother). In some instances, the advices of the grandparent(s) matter.
IN NOT SO ‘modernized’ communities, the oldest – or next to him/her, etc., is chosen or preferred to lead the people – for reasons of his ‘exposure and experience’, his ‘maturity of heart’; sometimes ‘for his/her sheer age.’
EVEN IN CONTEMPORARY settings among us Filipinos; when an individual files his/her candidacy for a certain position and he/she is just of the requirement age-or a bit higher, the observing ones question: “Is he old enough to later handle the rigors of the job?” Or, “why did she file for mayor – is not for-councilor better for her? She’s still that young!” or even a: “Listen, let’s learn her a lesson; let’s advise her to withdraw her candidacy.. in favour of her seniors who have filed.. after all, she’s still too young xxx”.
LOOKING BACK AT History, age did matter most. The expanse and greatness of the individual rose at-peak.. mostly past the ‘meridian’ age of 40 (years old). Witness for instance the cases of:
NAPOLEON BONAPARTE AS a conqueror. Was he not 44 when he fought in 1815 at Waterloo? And so was him who was the victor – the Duke of Wellington? Both they say were of almost same age; born same year: 1769.
GEORGE WASHINGTON WAS 43 years old when he was chosen as commander of the Continental Army in 1775, when they were fighting for the War of American Independence that ended in 1783. And what about
SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL? I still recall with vividness what my History teacher told us students: he was 55 when he challenged Adolf Hitler: “we shall fight you in the seas, we shall fight you in the streets xxx” It is often said, that after that, ‘he walked the Earth like a god’. Let’s take note that: his arch enemy – the then dictator Hitler himself, was not that young too at the highwaves of his Stormabsteilung and Blitzkrieg days. He was 54 at the height of WWII in 1943.
THOUGH WE DO not say categorically that: all those who rose to Power and became our historical men – favoured (or not favoured) by us in memory, were necessarily acclaimed and recognized when they were ‘past their primes’. We can cite the opposite-examples of:
ALEXANDER THE GREAT. It is often said: “at the age of 25 (or 26), he was the master of the World”.
GENGHIS KHAN TOO. At a youthful age, he was fighting the powerful Merkit (Mongol) tribe. He started as a surviving young man – was his original name, Temujin(?), of the almost-decimated Yakka (Mongol) tribe. [Although, in later, older years/age, he united almost all Mongols of the Gobi desert].
IN OUR OWN Philippine History, we remember our young heroes and great men: Gen. Gregorio del Pilar (age 24) – the hero of Tirad Pass, is sometimes referred to as the ‘Boy General’, without malice; Diego Silang was only 32 years old when he died; even our national hero – Dr. Jose Rizal was executed at a young age of 35. And so was Gen. Antonio Luna -he died at age 32. But again..
SO WERE OUR other heroes of more or less equal recognition – they were past-meridianers when their natural waves of Leadership were raging; the likes of: Presidents Manuel L. Quezon (65), Sergio Osmeña (83), Ramon Magsaysay (49); and then, Lakandula (71 or 72), Sikatuna, Tandang Sora (107); and many others – name them. So
FINALEMÉNT, “AGE DOES not matter”.. or does it? What is this we sometimes hear around: “mas maigi kung bata pa”; or its counterpart “hindi, mas okey kung may edad na”? Which is which for you and I? Should it always go in simulation of “the egg or the chicken” vis-à-vis?
ONE NETIZEN’S COLUMN goes to suggest by his title one good alternative for us all: Balansihin. That is: let’s not over-emphasize idolizing the young over the aged; or, vice-versa. Rather, seems sits well to apply the judicious, weighing, balancing judgement or perception. Ayuhh3!