Ageism – stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination against people based on their age. Sadly, ageism is so common, we scarcely notice. Change is needed! With 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day and people enjoying much longer lives than ever before, it is imperative to understand the severe impact ageism inflicts. The idea that seniors are weak, powerless, and burdensome is deeply seeded in our social psyche. Over our lifetimes, we’ve been exposed to negative portrayals of seniors in the media and movies – sad, grumpy and helpless with nothing more to contribute. When such negative messages are internalized, they can cause serious anxiety, depression and withdrawal, even rob years of life.
In fact, seniors have much to contribute and to look forward to! Abundant knowledge and wisdom to share. Honed skills and talents to pursue. Hearts full of love to lavish on family and friends. Peacemaking to heal families and communities. Curiosity to keep learning. And what’s more – since the senior demographic is the fastest growing segment of western societies, innovation for the longevity economy will fuel business.
So let’s turn ageism on its head and instead start celebrating the wonderful privilege of growing older. Let’s honor one another at every stage of life. Let’s believe the best is truly yet to come. Together, we can disrupt ageism.