Ashton Applewhite’s new book This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism is a wake-up call, especially for those who have the urge to make a difference while here, alive, and with the heart for change.
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We all play a role in creating culture and it often takes a radical idea to shift thinking in our society. Here is mine: Be Bold, Claim Old.
About eight years ago, Ashton Applewhite began interviewing people over 80 for a project called “So when are you going to retire?” It didn’t take her long to realize that almost everything she thought she knew about aging was wrong. So she wrote a book to set the record straight.
The tension between generations is indeed worth studying, but mostly as a red herring and a symptom of how aging has been reframed as a problem.
According to a growing body of research, the average lifespan of those with high levels of negative beliefs about old age is 7.5 years shorter than those with more positive beliefs. In other words, ‘ageism’ may have a cumulative harmful effect on personal health.
It’s time to create a world of age equality by making discrimination on the basis of age as unacceptable as any other kind. Whether you re older or hoping to get there, this book will shake you by the shoulders, cheer you up, make you mad, and change the way you see the rest of your life. Age pride!
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.
Age discrimination affects our country’s business, economy, values, and human dignity. It’s time we transform our perceptions of aging, from dependency and weakness to one of proficiency and resourcefulness.