How to Defeat Aging

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 🙂

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “How to Defeat Aging

  1. Laura L.

    Two comments. One a funny but I wanted to hit him one: I was trying out some new face goo that had “anti-aging!” plastered all over it. My husband looked at it then looked at me and with a big grin told me to get a refund.

    The other, I could write a few posts about. It isn’t just ageism but age discrimination. I don’t know when it sets in 45? 48? for sure by 50. FIFTY! Retirement is 65 or more. That means 15 years of potential employment with a hiring company but somewhere HR gets the idea of “too old.” (I could write a few more posts about the destruction of America by HR depts.) Perhaps they mistakenly believe that you cost more than a younger person. Perhaps they think you can’t work the technology. Perhaps…

    I have had several years of cyclical unemployment and each year it gets worse and worse. At 56 I’m there again and not optimistic. The Internet is rife with stories about this. I personally know many people stuck in it. I also know people in my age bracket who are in good jobs and haven’t had to look for work in a long time. They are remembering job hunting in the ’80s and make suggestions accordingly or just say “get a job.”

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    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      I was going to add in my post that I have used these moisturizers and I still have the wrinkles. Ha. I know exactly what you mean about Age Discrimination. I have thought about writing about it as well. It is a destructive, ignorant, short-sighted, think like lemmings attitude of employers and HR people. I have suffered it’s consequences as well. I felt battered down by it many times. I attribute it to why I could not get a permanent teaching position in the LA area. People who have jobs and are not threatened by this don’t understand. It really took me by surprise. Because I foolishly thought that as long as I had the qualifications I could get the job. It is difficult for young people now as well to even get started. It is hard but fight against letting it get to you psychologically so that it undermines your confidence. I know it got to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Laura L.

        Job searching, at the best of times, is difficult. In the five plus years I’ve been looking off and on, it is like being in the boxing ring in the wrong class and at the Olympic level. There’s nothing much to do about it except put one foot in front of the other.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. annanolan2014

    Thank you for such an uplifting post, Deborah; I couldn’t agree more. I am trying hard to embrace entering ‘the third age’, an experience which has, so far, been a largely positive one – bar the odd ache and pain. Anyway, old age is better than its only known alternative! Thank you for following my blog, Flaming English; I will try hard to entertain you with my humorous sketches on the English language.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. luciledegodoy

    Deborah, I haven’t yet read anything so objective and painfully clear about the truth of ageism, as in your post. It’s an unacceptable and bizarre reality. From headhunters, HR and up to management, who more and more are younger professionals, they all think that even a 40 y/o is too old. Here in Holland we have to work till 67…can you imagine where people can get jobs? The current financial crisis brought high unemployment though for both young and old (50 y/o!).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Deborah Drucker Post author

      Thank You so much Lucile. It is the same here with the employment situation. And people here in the middle age bracket have to work until 66 or 67 depending on when they were born as well.

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