Aging, Now and Then

I recently watched Bridge on the River Kwai, which is a must-see movie if you have not seen it yet.

There’s a scene where Alec Guinness (the original Obi Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars films) gives a little speech about how old he is, and how old he feels, and how there are “less days ahead than there are behind”. And yeah, as you can see from the above photo, he does look somewhat old in this movie. Not an “old man” certainly, but old.

Out of curiosity, I looked up Alec’s age when this movie was filmed (1957). To my shock and awe, I was astounded to discover that in that movie, Alec was just one year older than I am now. He was 43 in this movie…I’m almost 42.

The crazy thing is if you stood the 1957 Alec and the 2014 Caleb next to each other, I would almost look young enough to be Alec’s son. Not quite, but close. Just one year of numerical age difference, but almost 60 years of history, lifestyle improvements, advances in fitness and healthcare, and human evolution.

Simply amazing. I often feel like I’m still a teenager, just starting out, my life all before me, and Alec (or at least the character he was portraying) was my age complaining about how old he was (and looked!) and how close death was.

I can only imagine what 43 year-old men will look like in another 60 years. Will we have have 45 year-old men looking like 20 year-old men now?

We might.

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