How big is the gap between generations? The winning film from the Assisted Living Federation of America’s International Short Film contest poignantly captures how much we have to gain if we can just bridge that gap:
Twenty-six-year-old film student John Byron created this film as a tribute to his relationship with his grandfather and won the a first place $10,000 prize in the 2011 ALFA film contest. I missed the announcement April 6 but just caught the film today thanks to Michelle Seitzer at Seniors for Living blog.
ALFA held the film contest to raise awareness of ageism and praised Byron’s film for showing “how misunderstandings between generations can lay the foundation for stereotypes about seniors,” said Richard Grimes, president and CEO of ALFA.
Combating ageism is a worthy cause and we applaud ALFA for investing the prize money and engaging film makers to answer the challenge of ageism through art.
However, Michelle makes an excellent critique of focusing on ageism exclusively from the perspective of elders as being one-sided:
As long as the younger person/generation – or our “youth-obsessed culture” – is viewed as the enemy, we can kiss eliminating ageism goodbye. Discrimination works both ways. And, as Byron’s piece showed, there are certainly an equal amount of stereotypes held about young people by older people. (Remember when the older man scoffed at the noisy young people walking/driving by?)
Wouldn’t it make more sense to say: “Mind the Gap shows how misunderstandings between people of different ages can lay the foundation for stereotypes about people of different ages?”
The full post is well worth reading and I encourage you to answer Michelle’s challenge of sharing examples of how we can all combat ageism in our workplaces, homes and communities.