This Chair Rocks
In her book, This Chair Rocks, A Manifesto Against Ageism, Ashton Applewhite, author/ activist, cites ageism as a destructive element in our society and around the world. Ageism is discrimination and stereotyping based on age. In her recent TED TALK entitled “Let’s End Ageism,” Applewhite maintains, “Aging isn’t a problem or disease, but is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all. AGING IS LIVING. Longevity is a fundamental hallmark of human progress.”
Resisting ageism is part of a broader cultural revolution.” What’s up with the ‘Over the Hill’ Birthday cards? Don’t buy into the stereotypes; even ‘aging humor’ hurts our revolution. But… continue to laugh!!
“Attitudes about age—as well as race and gender—start to form in early childhood,” says Applewhite, continuing, “Over a lifetime they harden into a set of truths. Unless we challenge ageist stereotypes—Old people are incompetent. Wrinkles are ugly. It’s sad to be old—we feel shame and embarrassment instead of taking pride in the accomplishment of aging. That’s internalized ageism. Ageism feeds on denial, our reluctance to acknowledge that we’re going to become that older person. It’s denial when we try to pass for younger, or when we feel our bodies are betraying us, simply because they’re changing. Why do we stop celebrating the ability to adapt and grow as we move through life?”
Older people can be the most ageist of all because we’ve had a lifetime to internalize these messages. AGEISM IS PREJUDICE AGAINST OUR OWN FUTURE SELVES and pits the generations against each other.
By 2050, one out of five of us, almost 2 billion people will be age sixty and up. Everyone in the world is old or future old, and unless we put an end to it, ageism will oppress us all.
If you wish to age with grace, participating in programs and activities, surrounded by friends, come to JSL. Jewish Senior Life is dedicated to enhancing and celebrating the quality of life for older adults.
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