The whole world is uplifting the role of youth in every sector. They youth’s unmatchable energy along with the complex thinking and risk-taking approach is what makes them unstoppable. But the 92-year old Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad just broke the record which seemed to be possible in the parallel world only. 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as Malaysia’s new prime minister, making him the oldest elected leader in the world. In the United States, President Donald J. Trump is 71, the oldest first-term president elected the country’s history. But is he functional to lead?
“A resilience to aging is pretty impressive”, said Ambika Bajpayee, assistant professor of bioengineering who is affiliated with Northeastern University’s Global Resilience Institute. He added, “That’s what’s enabling us to put our hopes and trust in aging people and let them lead”. She suggested that elected officials’ political ambitions and drive might make them more resistant to the loss of mental capacity that naturally comes with age. Another reason may be that People in politics are clearly driven by something much bigger than them that’s going to make them more functional in older age than others.
Energy is a predictor of cognitive ability. Plus, advances in technology have enabled people not only to live longer but to have more productive years toward the end of their lives–something that helps compensate for what passion alone may not always solve. “I am, of course, quite old. No, I am very old. But I can still function. Young leaders do not have sufficient background”, the Malaysian leader said in the interview. He added “And not many people with experience have survived. I have survived”. In academia, there are very old professors who are very mentally sound, in business you see people in their late 70s making major decisions. It has to do with passion, and that’s an innate thing.