Packing groceries ain’t rocket science. It just takes some basic common sense and a concern for others’ needs. The same thing applies to unpacking ageism.
Imagine this: Two cups, one containing sugar and the other containing sand. You pour the sugar into a large bowl. Then you carefully pour the sand on top. Next, you take a tweezers and pick up each grain, separating the sand and sugar back into their respective cups. How long do you think it would […]
For improvisers, Yes And means you accept what the other player presents you with, without blocking it or denying it, and then you react constructively to it. You add to it. I invite you to join me in improvising our way through these later years. It’s easier than you think.
There’s a strange pattern here. We’re surprised by young people who display what we consider to be the kind of sophistication and wisdom that we associate only with experience and age, as well as by elders who display the physical stamina, prowess, and productivity of people decades younger. It’s as if to be young means only to be strong and to be old means only to be wise.
Every time we assign the sole responsibility of aging well to an individual, we disregard that person’s uniqueness in a very unrealistic and unjust way. Each of us has gone through a combination of biological and socioeconomic experiences that have affected us at every turn.
Regardless of how we feel about our lives during the course of a previous year, the arrival of a new one has the potential to inspire us with hope and a desire for change –– in ourselves and in the world around us
Just as we are encouraged to believe those who report experiences of sexual harassment, so, too, should we believe older adults who report elder harassment in any of its forms. Ageism, too, is a spectrum of abuse. All of this is to say that harassment in any form, toward any person, and for any reason should not be justified or tolerated.
As a social gerontologist, community educator, and writer, I am passionate about explaining how language affects –– in good or bad ways –– our perceptions of aging, and vice versa.