April 9, 2004

Senior Elder of the Maasai

ROBERT FULGHUM on growing old as a Maasai:

When I became feeble and infirm, my extended family and the tribe would be honored to care for me. And when I died, they would wrap me in my finest red blanket, carry me some distance from the kraal, and simply leave me to be eaten by wild animals. No fuss, no bother, no problem. The Maasai Way.

We 21st century Americans consider the Maasai primitive savages.

We think it so much more civilized to be warehoused in an extended care facility playing bingo, watching game shows, living in pajamas and old bathrobes, eating diet food, and being taken for rides in a bus.

No invitations to sit on the front row at the dance of the young maidens.

Not even an ostrich feather headdress or a cup of hot blood.

As final stages of life go, the Maasai are way ahead of the Hindus or us.

I'm thinking of applying for Senior Elder status in the Maasai.
But, alas, I note that I would have to kill a lion first to prove my worthiness.

There's always some fine print.

And if I got caught with lurking around the zoo with a spear .. ..

Posted by Vanderleun at April 9, 2004 4:47 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

It has always been my dream to be disposed thus. And in the grand scheme of things ... this way would benefit the ecology. Well, not in my case of course ... I'm so toxic the critters would croak.

Posted by: Steel Turman at April 9, 2005 11:23 AM

That arrangement works when few people survive to old age. It could not work for the retirement of the Baby Boomers. Fulghum is peddling nostalgic nonsense.

Posted by: Alan Sullivan at April 10, 2005 12:21 PM