I have joined the dinosaurs. Today, without coersion or prompting by my wife, I used reading glasses to peruse the Wall Street Journal. I felt, well, old. My wife suggested the better word is "mature." But I felt old.
In my younger years, my 20/10 vision was a source of pride in the military. I would revel at the fact that I could always ready the line below what was required to have 20/20 vision on the eye charts. I was invincible. I was super-human because I oould "boldly read where no man has read before." Now, I'm old and need reading glasses. Sheesh.
But in another way, maybe this is a rite of passage, a great portal to the human condition. Like the birth of a child or the death of a parent, it is a universal inevitability that comes with the passing years and of growing intellectually. It is an experience like this that gives a brief glimpse into what it means to be fallible, finite, and vulnerable. It is a portal to more than just knowledge, it is a portal of empathy, a portal to an ever-so-brief encounter with wisdom.
Perhaps this is precisely why it is so scary.