Monday, 20 September 2010

Ageism and me

I have always believed and said that age has nothing to do with what is written on a birth certificate or indeed any other document. It is a state of mind and an attitude to what life throws at us and how we react to each other and the challenges of each day which is the true measure of age.

This has nothing to do with the dyed blonde/brunette/redhead, Botox treated, artificially enhanced inhabitants of the planet and their (usually pointless) attempts to avoid the ageing process.

Not that there is anything intrinsically wrong with that approach, just that it is a separate issue.

On the bus this morning I noticed that the front two or three seats labled "these seats are for the elderly, disabled etc" were all empty, and all the passengers, myself included, mainly well over sixty-five, scrupulously avoided sitting in them. The result being that when we reached town all the front seats were occupied by those in their teens and twenties.

"Hang on" I thought, "there's surely something wrong here". As the youngsters skipped happily off the bus and we edged our slower way forward it seemed to me that we are possibly cutting off our noses to spite our faces. Perhaps in failing to recognise that we are indeed old, or at least older than many we are perhaps depriving ourselves of some of the all too few benefits of having reached seniority.

Not accepting what we feel we do not need , is maybe an attempt to push the clock back, in much the same way as the determinedly youthful both male and female insist on wearing too short skirts , tight shorts, ultra low-necked sleeveless tops etc., perhaps we are all in denial of the dreaded "old-age" tag we all hate.

I think what I'm trying to say is all these external manifestations of age-defying antics have little if anything to do with real old age which often is, but need not be a sort of acceptance that life is no longer there to be lived, avenues no longer to be explored, new ideas, interests, relationships all suddenly no longer available to us.

For what it's worth, in my opinion, that is a kind of slow suicide and is totally unacceptable as a recipe for any kind of life.

Take risks! Fall flat on your face! Look a total prat, but above all don't die untill you have to.

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