Famed economist, John Kenneth Galbraith, first coined the phrase. He referred to the Still Syndrome as “an annoying affliction brought on by old age. People see me and comment, ‘Are you still interested in politics? Are you still doing things?’ ”
My first introduction to the phrase came in a Boston Globe article about Dr. Walter Guralnick, 100 years old and still showing up at Mass General Hospital, working with residents in the department of oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Dr. Guralnick took the syndrome to the positive side, where I choose to dwell, as often as possible. He said, “I am still working and speaking, still thinking, and I still enjoy the sight of a pretty woman!”
You, like I, are still here at the beginning of this New Year.
The why is not as important as on this day, for this moment, we are.
Still is more than something that’s ending, as in “Are you still here?” For me, it’s more a hopeful connection between what was ,what is, and possibly what’s next.
This holy syndrome bids me be still.(Psalm 46:10)
It calls me to see Galbraith’s Still Syndrome, not as an “annoying affliction” but as one of God’s gifts…a nevertheless, moments or months wrapped in hope and possibilities. An opportunity to be still, still be, perhaps still do, even if it’s not all one used to do.
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