On my nightstand is a book of ancient wisdom that I read from time to time, when I want to get depressed. It\u2019s titled \u201cHow to Grow Old\u201d by Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman orator, philosopher, playboy and politician, who was the Dr. Oz, Deepak Chopra and Nancy Pelosi of his day. Throughout the ages, Cicero has inspired everyone from Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine to George Burns, although you have to wonder what Cicero actually knew about old age since he died at 63, which by our reckoning is still middle age. Today, he wouldn\u2019t even be eligible for Medicare and he\u2019d be imprisoned if he touched his 401(k). However, when I look at marble busts of this great thinker, I realize he shared one characteristic common to all geezers \u2014 the dreaded turkey neck. It was Cicero who propounded the view \u201cSex is overrated.\u201d He was the only ancient Roman who preferred reading the Stoics to a romp in the hay. He also had words of warning for young people: \u201cA wanton and wasteful youth leads to a worn-out body in old age\u201d along with \u201cToo much rock \u2018n\u2019 roll causes hearing loss in later life.\u201d (Keith Richards never read Cicero.) The 60s were hard on Cicero. After 30 years of marriage, he left his wife and started chasing a younger woman, whom he divorced after a few months. That experience inspired him to write the timeless essay, \u201cGirls and Geezers \u2014 a Bad Combo.\u201d His political prominence faded when Julius Caesar came to power; they got along as well as Nancy Pelosi, 78, and Donald Trump, 72. Cicero\u2019s thoughts on aging have inspired everyone from philosopher Michel Montaigne, who died at 59, to John Adams, who lasted to 91, and Christie Brinkley, who\u2019s 64 but acts 34. It was Bette Davis, a student of Cicero, who once said, \u201cOld age ain\u2019t no place for sissies.\u201d When she died at 81, she had gone through four husbands, and her gravestone epitaph notes, \u201cShe did it the hard way.\u201d In modern America, we believe middle age goes from 40 to 75, but there was no such thing as middle age in Cicero\u2019s day. Neither was there adolescence. Romans went from toddlerhood to geezerhood, which caused various problems. For starters, people didn\u2019t live long enough to save for retirement. Even worse, people didn\u2019t live long enough to retire. Back then, a guy was \u201cold\u201d at 50, which tragically is the attitude in the American workplace today. Even if you reached your 60s, you never knew when someone like Nero would cut your life short figuratively and literally. As a result, \u201cHow to Grow Old\u201d never made the bestseller list because there were only 17 senior citizens in the entire Roman Empire. \u00a0 Nevertheless, \u201cHow to Grow Old\u201d ranks among the Ciceronian classics, along with \u201cHow to Grow Heirloom Tomatoes,\u201d \u201cHow to Make a Killer Bolognese Sauce\u201d and the ever-popular \u201cSex and the Single Roman\u201d with its sequel, \u201cHow to Make Love Like an Ancient Roman.\u201d Cicero believed gardening was the key to long life, but no sensible Roman would listen to a guy who preferred growing eggplants to debauchery. What American would? He also recognized the importance of keeping your mind active, and the best way to do that is to study Latin. You can read Cicero in his native tongue and impress your girlfriend and boss ... but don\u2019t let them see you reading \u201cHow to Grow Old,\u201d or she\u2019ll dump you for a 25-year-old, and he\u2019ll fire you and hire a 30-year-old. Unfortunately, Cicero never got to write, \u201cHow to Grow Old and Find a Job.\u201d Cicero once said, \u201cThe crowning glory of old age is respect,\u201d which later inspired Aretha Franklin to sing, \u201cR-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me!\u201d Aretha, of course, could have taught Cicero a thing or two about how to grow old. Joe Pisani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.