This is day 4 of the post a day challenge. I am basing this post on a prompt on the Nano Poblano site. Tell everyone how you have defeated aging.
I have to say that I have not defeated aging and I do not want to. What I would like to defeat is Ageism.
All this anti-aging talk is because people have a real prejudice and fear about older people and getting older. And the current definition of older is pretty young. This is pathetic and sad. We are all going to get old. You may be able to delude yourself and invest in all manner of plastic surgery and end up looking like Jim Carey in The Mask with The Mask on.
I am not saying you can’t use moisturizer, some makeup or color your hair and try to stay in shape and healthy. I am talking about this exaggerated reaction to the appearance of aging where we are all trying to look like we are in our 30s or 40s when we are in our 50s and 60s.
I am not afraid of aging and do not desire to defeat it. Aging to me is not a negative thing. It is part of life and very natural. Of course I hope to remain healthy and with an intact mind but none of us knows what the future holds. I refuse to live in fear.
I hate the way old people are devalued by many in our society. It is such a mistake and a loss to everyone when this great resource is neglected. It is a valuable thing to have the older generations interacting with the younger ones.
Children benefit so much from relationships with grandparents. The elders are the keepers of our history and culture. We can learn a lot from listening to their life stories and hearing about their experiences and struggles.
People should not be marginalized and shunned because they are old. This is such a pernicious trend in our culture. It is like a bad science fiction or a dystopian film. The old go off to some disintegration machine because our youth obsessed culture can’t bear to look at them any more.
All the negativity about aging is dispiriting and discouraging. I believe that it can actually make people feel depressed about themselves and adopt a hopeless attitude about their lives. It certainly is not empowering is it?
It is really discouraging to me to hear older people denigrating themselves on top of it by making stereotyping statements or ageist remarks. It is like they have been so saturated with this prejudice that it has become part of them. Almost a kind of self-hatred or a way of ingratiating themselves with biased younger people.
It is pretty difficult to combat this prejudice because it is so ingrained. We have all internalized it to some degree. But that does not mean it is not worth it to fight to change this negative image of age.
Many older people are continuing to live fulfilling lives in spite of what is expected of them or not expected. They go on enjoying pursuits, being creative and engaged with life. They are usually not noticed by the mainstream.
There are many organizations and websites that are working to combat all the negative spin about ageing. Some are the National Center for Creative Ageing or NCCA, Encore, AARP, Engage and Senior Planet.
I hope we can turn the tide against ageism because it will benefit all of us. It is a human rights issue. No one has the right to put limits on the lives of others on the basis of gender, race, religion or age.
I challenge you to promote tolerance and become aware of ageist speech and stereotypes. See if you can catch yourself before you continue to spread these negative attitudes in your families and to your children. Do you have any older friends or family members in your life? Have you believed a stereotype about an older person?
|Nano Poblano| among other things 🙂