The deterioration-decline meme that defines aging in our culture originates in a narrow perception of the lifespan that is blind to the priceless assets we accrue as we add years to our lives.
Abolishing ageism is a revolutionary cause whose time has come. This Chair Rocks by Ashton Applewhite is its inspiring manifesto.
Anyone who fights ageism by working hard to understand its internal or external character is, first and foremost, the practitioner of a noble craft. Like acting, it takes experience and perseverance to hone one’s skills.
In the course of a typical day, I and many other older adults who are retired or live in generationally segregated communities or work and socialize only with others our age have very few personal interactions with younger people. And I’m convinced that we are the lesser for it.
The longer we wait to confront and abolish ageism, the harder it will be to recover from its consequences. This is the year to launch a full-scale reorganizational effort.
All of us have a stake in handling this PR problem, but none more so than the professionals who work in aging services –– businesses, educational institutions, government departments, and nonprofit organizations whose mission is to serve the needs and aspirations of older adults.
This thought experiment should make it clear that we should actively engage older adults in all aspects of society.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about age stereotypes and their relationship to our willingness –– or reluctance –– to be ourselves.