Good Sunday to you, dear reader. Thanks for dropping by for tonight's installment of the 30 Day Writing Challenge. Up this week: My Feelings on Ageism. Here we go!
A video recently came out that asked Millennials what they thought an old person looked like, how they acted, etc. I thought it was really interesting - but I would have done it without the exaggerated bits at the beginning. (Go watch it - it's good!)
I've always had a soft spot for older people. We lived in Yellowknife from the time I was 9 until right before I turned 12, and I volunteered at a senior citizen's complex. To this day I cherish those experiences; the people I met while there were amazing, and had stories that amazed and captivated me. I remember this one lady....she was Inuit, and almost completely blind....I used to read to her, even though her English was spotty at best. Though I didn't understand what was "wrong" with her at the time, I realize now that she was more than likely in the very late stages of dementia. Her name was Althena, and she was 103 years old. I've remembered her and her stories for 30 years. I was fascinated by her. I remember thinking about the things she must have seen in her lifetime.
Here's the thing: We're living to be much older than we once did. With advanced medicines and treatments for diseases, less smoking, more exercise, and general better quality of life on our side, it's more and more common for people to live well into their 70's and 80's. Heck, one of my best friends just celebrated her grandfather's 96th birthday with him! People are living longer, healthier lives, so I think the very notion of ageism is silly. People mature; they gain wisdom. Often in my life, the person I've gone to when it comes to life advice is 30+ years older than me - I don't believe that's a coincidence.
TL;DR: I think it's ridiculous, and that people should be embracing their ages, not being treated poorly because of them. We should be embracing the wisdom and life experience that comes with advanced age, not pretending someone is "too old" to do something.