Note: This is the opinion of the writer and not necessarily of the Kentucky New Era. Let the community know your opinion about this topic and others by submitting a "Letter to the editor."

There’s so much to be thankful for in this life.

And, of course, Thanksgiving will always be a time of reflection and gratitude for those wonderful blessings like loving family and friends, good health, and prosperity.

Growing old with grace is another precious gift from God.

Still, there are too many dreamers in this world who wish upon the stars to stay forever young.

Well, whaddaya know?

There just might be a “Fountain of Youth” after all.

But — and there’s always a “but” that comes with most good news — it’s apparently going to take a mighty good lawyer to find it and then turn it on.

For everybody already over the hill — old as dirt, like me — or on their way to senior citizen status, focus and pay close attention. There could be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Maybe you’ve heard about Emile Ratelband, the 69-year-old motivational speaker from the Netherlands who was on television and in newspapers around the world earlier this month.

The crazy Dutchman is my new hero.

Emile, who lives near Amsterdam, has petitioned a local court for permission to change his age. Claiming he’s young at heart and in great physical condition, he wants to legally alter his birth certificate so that it shows he was born in March 1969 instead of March 1949.

Now, no way is Emile being greedy with those magical waters of the Fountain of Youth. Lowering his age by only 20 years suits him just fine. In mind and body, he’s closer to 49 instead of 69, he said.

“I have done a check-up and what does it show?” Ratelband claimed in an interview with The Telegraph, a British newspaper. “My biological age is 45 years.”

Of course, there’s a pretty good reason that Emile Ratelband has his heart set on becoming a younger man — at least on paper.

Everybody long in the tooth should be able to come up with an answer.

The bottom line is it’s not much fun living in a world that worships youth while tossing the older and wiser folks to the curb.

Growing old, nowadays, ain’t no Sunday picnic. Age-based discrimination might be against the law, but it’s alive and well and near to impossible to prove in any courtroom anywhere.

Having a younger age, according to Emile, probably would help him get more work. Employers might actually consider his job applications.

But, even more importantly, it should help Mr. Ratelband — a carefree bachelor — with the ladies.

“When I’m on Tinder (a dating app) and it says I’m 69, I don’t get an answer. When I’m 49, with the face I have, I will be in a luxurious position,” Emile told The Telegraph.

Poor guy is honest to the bone and apparently doesn’t know that most, if not all, people out there in cyberspace lie about their age, wealth and just about everything else under the sun.

The judges who heard Emile’s case in his hometown of Arnhem have promised him that they will render a verdict sometime in the next few weeks.

Until then, Emile will be 69, going on 49.

If he wins the legal case, lawyers everywhere should expect a lot more business in the future from the young at heart. Tell me Bart Durham probably isn’t already planning his next television commercial down in Nashville.

Emile Ratelband — a man who feels and acts younger than his age — reminds me of the late baseball legend Satchel Paige, who, decades ago, was still pitching in the Major Leagues just a few years shy of his 50th birthday.

Satchel had the same mindset as Emile about growing old. “Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter,” he once said.

Be thankful for that sound advice about old age, and do your best to live it.

ROB DOLLAR was a reporter and editor for the Kentucky New Era for 20 years. A resident of Hopkinsville, he has authored three books on topics of local interest in recent years. He can be reached at theezywriter@yahoo.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.