Mid-life crisis is typically associated (for men, at least) with a sudden interest in flashy red sports cars, women young enough to be one's daughter, heavy work-outs at the gym, etc. In other words, a desperate attempt to maintain (or revive) the sense that one is as good as one ever was, that time is not passing with such relentless and merciless rapidity; that the ravages of aging can be held off pretty much indefinitely. But there's more to mid-life crisis than the shock of physical decline and perceived diminution of attractiveness to the opposite sex. For many persons it's the stunning realization that one has fallen short–perhaps VERY short–of his important life-goals and is really past the time when those goals are realistically still within reach. Most commonly, the goals are about wealth and social position. No one wants to feel himself a "loser," suddenly and irrevocably "out of the game." For other people (far fewer perhaps), the crisis is precipitated by the nagging sense of "emptiness" that can develop, in spite of one's having achieved precisely what he had set out to accomplish. How does one deal with the feeling that "it all seems rather pointless. There must be more to life than this." A conspicuously higher level of achievement in the same arena isn't the answer. No one's happiness ever was doubled because he went from two-million dollars a year in earnings to four-million dollars. No one's life-satisfaction ever was enhanced for the longer run because he added, say, a ski chalet in the Alps to his already impressive real-estate holdings. Mid-life crisis is by no means inevitable. In so-called "traditional" societies, it is virtually unknown. Those Americans who fall prey to it are paying the price for living in a society that values the attainment of money, possessions, and status over the cultivation of wisdom, virtue, and healthy independence of thought and action; for living in a society that exalts (not to say, worships) youth and, basically, despises age; for living in a society that encourages quick and easy (and all-too-ephemeral) satisfactions and largely ignores (or dismisses as irrelevant) the needs of the "inner" person–what some folks would call the "spiritual" strivings. "Mid-life crisis"? Isn't it really a symptom of a larger "cultural crisis"?