Let me roughly divide books into those which compete with the movies and those with which the movies cannot compete. They are the books that can elevate or instruct. If they are fine works of fiction, they can deepen your appreciation of human life. If they are serious works of nonfiction, they can inform or enlighten you.
In the fifties, you have your beauty as a treat. I thought that until i hit the sixties.In your sixties, life decides to reward you with certain kinds of profound appreciation, so that people name their children and schools and libraries after you! And you still have your sexuality and your sensuality. If you want your sexuality, you still have it.
When i think back about my immediate reaction to that redheads girl, it seems to spring from an appreciation of natural beauty. I mean the heart pleasure you get from looking at speckled leaves or the palimpsested bark of plane trees in provence. There was something richly appealing to her color combination, the ginger snaps floating in the milk-white skin, the golden highlights in the strawberry hair. It was like autumn, looking at her. It was like driving up north to see the colors.
Plainly, such an approach does not exclude other ways of trying to comprehend the world. Someone committed to it (as i am) can consistently believe (as i do) that we learn much more of human interest about how people think and feel and act by reading novels or studying history than from all of naturalistic psychology, and perhaps always will; similarly, the arts may offer appreciation of the heavens to which astrophysics cannot aspire.
In daily practice, reflect on the benefits of love, compassion and kindness, then reflect on the disadvantages of anger. Such continuous contemplation, the growing appreciation of love, has the effect of reducing our inclination towards hatred and increasing our respect for love. By this means even anger can be diminished.
Let's cease thinking of our accomplishments, our wants. Let's try to figure out the other man's good points. Then forget flattery. Give honest, sincere appreciation. Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise, and people will cherish your words and treasure them and repeat them over a lifetime - repeat them years after you have forgotten them.