I’m a little behind in my reading but bear with me. Here are a couple of interesting articles on aging and age discrimination that I think bear looking at if you’re feeling that the new year just means that you’re one year closer to .. you know what. Read these articles and take heart!
In “Equal, but Wrinkled: Fighting Age Segregation,” also called online “Bringing Older Americans Back Into the Fold,” by Maya Salam in The New York Times, January 6, 2019, the spotlight is on the president of the nonprofit Encore.org, who “is on a mission to reintegrate older people into the lives of younger ones.” He notes that the period after retirement “rather than being the leftover years, may be one of the sweet spots in life.”
What especially caught my eye was his “realization” that “the years that have been added to life that we keep hearing about have not been added at the end, they’re really being added to the middle or late middle — this period when we actually have learned a great deal and have the chance to do something with that.”
Made me think – the extra years given us as a result of advances in science, medicine and sanitation, and overall prosperity (at least in most Western countries) are not necessarily tacked on when we are in our dotage but are added in when we are in our prime! Gives one a reason to keep going now!
The Golden Years?
He also claims that the “whole conception” of the “leisure in the golden years” and age segregation “was invented with a profit motive in mind and out of a real feeling that older people were superfluous. And it was invented so recently, within the last half a century or so: the idea being that people are kind of drifting through this anteroom to the great beyond. … Dying went from just a natural part of life into an incurable medical condition. That really contributed a lot to segregation, to developing all these institutions where the elderly became separated from society.”
Anyway, one takeaway:
“Older people who mentor and support young people are three times as likely to be happy as those who fail to do so. … Because as we get older, instead of trying to deny death or forestall it at any cost, shouldn’t we be recognizing that the true way to live on is not to try to be the next generation? It is to invest in younger people and live on through their lives and work and contribution.”
So keep mentoring, folks!
Big Plans For 2019 – At 92
The second article, entitled “Australia’s Fastest 92-Year-Old Woman,” by Bari Weiss in The New York Times, January 6, 2019, is about a 92 year old who “holds five world records and eight Australian ones for racewalking. She is the New South Wales Senior Australian of the Year. And she has big plans for 2019 — namely, breaking her own best times — so she does not kid around when it comes to working out.”
She said that “she sees as her life’s purpose: conveying to younger people the importance of living right — a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. Oh, and stairs: ‘One of my mottos is take the stairs, not the lift. Always.’”
Hear that? Take the stairs!
Age, she said “is no barrier to anything, really.” Makes you feel a tad better, no?
Well, she also had this to say about if she dies race walking:
“Wouldn’t that be lovely?”